Sir Alex Ferguson has always had a superb eye for players that he can use to drive through each transition of his Manchester United side, from one team to the next.
Marquinhos seems to be firmly on his radar and don’t be surprised to see United pay good money for the 18-year-old Brazilian this summer, regardless of whether they plan to use him straight away.
It’s arguably more difficult for teenagers to get into top flight football and make an instant impact, especially as a defender but that’s exactly what Marquinhos has done and there are no signs he’s going to be dropped any time soon.
He’s started 17 matches for Roma in Serie A this season and has made three appearances off the subs bench which proves he could be used as a first team choice straight away if needed.
The striking feature of his game is something which seems to be typically Brazilian; his control and skills on the ball.
His composure means he is always available to receive the ball under pressure and he knows all about the fine line between playing the ball out from the back or hoofing it forward and getting it out of play quickly.
He also reads the game very well which hints at a maturity beyond his years and insures against naivety for a young player. This would be worth buying him for alone, even if his basic game needed work.
United’s biggest challenge would actually be getting him to Old Trafford because he has also been linked with moves to Barcelona and Manchester City.
Both of those clubs would be able to compete and excel United in a financial sense so it all comes down to what they can offer the player both on and off the field.
If they do manage to get him and at this stage it looks a little up in the air, then whatever they pay could be substantially enhanced in a few years time if he does a Ronaldo and asks for a move away from Old Trafford.
Rio Ferdinand is not getting any younger and Nemanja Vidic’s recent fitness problems have suggested that the club could use another top quality centre back in the building.
Will it be Marquinhos?
image: © Paolo Camera