A week is a long time in football. Just seven days after losing Wilfried Zaha to Galatasaray, Crystal Palace have agreed a deal to sign Matheus Franca from Flamengo.
There is plenty of excitement about the Brazilian sensation – both in his homeland as well as in SE25.
Crystal Palace – according to Fabrizio Romano – have agreed a deal worth €30m (£26m) in total for the South American starlet, who will now undergo a medical in the United Kingdom.
What’s the story?
Well, the reliable Romano revealed that we have negotiated a €5m (£4m) add-on in the deal with Flamengo, which will be paid if the 19-year-old ever wins the Ballon d’Or.
In our view, the fact that Crystal Palace even suggested such a clause, and Flamengo actually agreed to it, means both parties thoroughly believe Franca is capable of doing something very special in future.
Romano adds that Flamengo will receive a guaranteed €20m (£17m) fee with €5m (£4m) in “easy” add-ons, while the Brazilian giants have also negotiated a 20% cut of any profit Crystal Palace make from selling the teenager in future.
The likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Luka Modric, Ronaldinho, Zinedine Zidane and Johan Cruyff make up a select list of footballers to have won the Ballon d’Or through history, all of whom are bonafide icons of the sport.
Given the fact Crystal Palace and Flamengo both believe Franca has a slither of a chance at making that list in future, the Selhurst Park faithful should be full of excitement.
Matheus Franca likely to directly replace Wilfried Zaha at Crystal Palace
In our view, it is not a coincidence that negotiations to sign Franca advanced once we knew for certain that Zaha would not be staying.
Like the Ivory Coast international, the Rio de Janeiro-born wonderkid can play either centrally or on the wing, specifically the left flank, where he likes to cut inside on his stronger right foot.
With Eberechi Eze in the No.10 role, and Michael Olise out on the right flank, we would expect Roy Hodgson to use Franca on the left wing if Odsonne Edouard or Jean-Philippe Mateta start in the No.9 spot.
However, the 75-year-old could also use the Brazilian centrally with Jordan Ayew out wide, if he doesn’t fancy Edouard or Mateta.
Whatever Hodgson decides to do, it is nice to have plenty of options in the attacking department – hopefully, Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman can now find a right-back to strengthen the side even more.