Alex Teixeira: In profile

Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira
Image: Alex Teixeira looks to have left Shakhtar Donetsk for the Chinese Super League

Alex Teixeira has become the latest big-name signing for the Chinese Super League after Shakhtar Donetsk agreed a deal worth £38m with Jiangsu Suning.

The Brazilian forward had been strongly linked with Liverpool during the January transfer window, but the Premier League club ultimately failed to agree a fee with Shakhtar.

Following news that he will join the likes of Ramires and Jackson Martinez by moving to China, we take a look at Teixeira's background…

Factfile

Name: Alex Teixeira

Age: 26

Place of birth: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Also See:

Alex Teixeira Shakhtar Donetsk
Image: Teixeira joined Shakhtar Donetsk as a 19-year-old

Position: Attacking midfielder

Background

After making more than 50 league appearances for boyhood club Vasco da Gama, Teixeira joined Shakhtar as a 19-year-old in a deal worth 6m euros in 2010.

While he made just three league appearances in his first half-season in Ukraine, he started his first Champions League match against Arsenal in October and scored in three successive league games in the same month.

With a host of other Brazilians in the team, including Chelsea's Willian, Manchester City's Fernandinho and AC Milan's Luiz Adriano, Teixeira gradually cemented his place in the starting XI.

FC Shakhtar head coach Romanian Mircea Lucescu  (C) presents  new players of the team, Brazilian midfielder Douglas Costa  (L) and Alex Teixeira
Image: Teixeira (R) joined Shakhtar in 2010 along with Douglas Costa

Playing across a number of positions in midfield, his goal tally increased season-upon-season until he was moved into a more defensive role in 2013/14 following the sale of Fernandinho.

While he helped Shakhtar win a fifth straight league title, it has been in the last two years, when he has been playing in more advanced positions, that he has really hit the headlines and earned the nickname 'King Alex'.

In 2014/15 he netted 17 goals in 22 league appearances and this season his form has been even better, with 22 goals scored in just 15 domestic matches and four in the Champions League, including two against Real Madrid.

Somewhat surprisingly, he has never been capped by Brazil at senior level, and says this is one of the reasons he wants to move on.

Image: It's been a year to remember for Teixeira (Pic: @FCShakhtar_eng)

"Shakhtar are not shown in Brazil, so I think I need to move to stand out and get a place in the squad, that's my goal for 2016," he said recently.

An exit looked on the cards for some time. In 2014 he was one of six players who delayed his return to the country following safety concerns and he was also close to leaving the club last year.

"When Douglas [Costa] and Luiz [Adriano] left last season, the Mister [Mircea Lucescu] asked me to stay," he admitted. "I obeyed and stayed. But they are aware of my desire to leave now.

Alex Teixeira of Donetsk
Image: Teixeira has been an influential player for Shakhtar

"I think they will make it easier as it'll also be positive for the team. The president [Rinat Akhmetov] told me the only reason he didn't let me go before was those two other transfers."

With his contract running out in 2018, Lucescu had previously said he would not stand in the way of a transfer, but it may come as a surprise that he's opted for China.

Style of play

One of Teixeira's qualities is his flexibility. While he spent time filling a defensive midfield role for Shakhtar, throughout his career he has predominantly played as an attacking midfielder, behind the main striker or leading the line himself.

Shakhtar Donetsk's Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu
Image: Shakhtar Donetsk coach Mircea Lucescu

However, it is as a support striker that he excelled in recent seasons, playing off either Eduardo or Oleksandr Gladky.

Skilful and quick, he has an eye for goal, is a composed finisher when he gets in goalscoring positions and provides good movement across the forward line.

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