By Gabriel Pessoa/beIN SPORTS
The baby-faced winger has all the attributes of a South American soccer super icon, but so far has eluded a move away from his native Brazil.
The 23-year-old rose to global prominence over the summer during Brazil’s triumphant Copa America campaign, leaving an indelible impression on opposition defenders with his speed, tenacity and technical ability, and ending the tournament as the top scorer with three goals.
Naturally, his performances had many wondering which European giant would scoop up the breakout star of the Copa America before the start of the 2019/20 season. The winger was the subject of countless transfer rumors, with clubs like Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and Arsenal all apparently interested in acquiring his services at one point or another.
However, the transfer window opened and closed and Éverton stayed put at Gremio. While playing for a successful South American club is no mean feat, considering all the speculation that surrounded him over the summer, it remains a mystery that he is yet to follow in the footsteps of other Brazilian internationals and make a trans-Atlantic move.
After all, it’s not as if European clubs have lost interest in speedy, technical wingers. Nicolas Pepe, Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard all secured lucrative moves this past transfer window.
Notwithstanding, the man Gremio fans affectionately call Cebolinha (little onion) - after a popular Brazilian comic book character - has shown no signs of slowing down since the Copa America. In the Copa Libertadores quarterfinals the winger led the way for Gremio in an epic comeback over Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Palmeiras, and he has racked up four goals and one assist in his ten appearances in the tournament.
Gremio is going to need Cebolinha to keep up the good work come Wednesday when the Porto Alegre outfit hosts arguably the most in-form team in South American soccer: Flamengo. Unless Renato Gaucho is looking to deviate from the regular game plan, Éverton will more than likely square off against former Bayern Munich left-back Rafinha.
Flamengo may be the favorites heading into this all-Brazilian clash, but as long as Éverton is dressed in blue, black and white, the Imortal Tricolor should not be ruled out.