Welcome to issue one of ‘Transfer Talk’ where I will be discussing players who are likely to move and where too. Whether I am right or not, hopefully I can provide you with some information on players you haven’t heard of before. You can then also be as annoying (and knowledgable) as me, talking about the next big thing in the pub while everyone else says “Who are they?”.
Paolo Mauricio Lemos Merladet – Las Palmas
The 21 year old central defender has come a long way from his youth days with Defensor Sporting. He never played much for his first team due to his international call ups to the Uruguay U20 side. He must have been highly thought of there because he caught the eye of Russian Premier League side Rubin Kazan. After taking him on loan, they signed him permanently before loaning him to Las Palmas. Las Palmas then spent an estimated two million euros to activate a buyout clause in his loan agreement. He has been as essential to Las Palmas’s steadying season, seeing them 9 points clear of relegation with one game to go.
He is Las Palmas’s joint third goal scorer, with 5 hitting the back of the net. Only striker Kevin Prince Boateng and attacking midfielder Jonathan Viera have netted more, with 10 and 7 respectively. Lemos has made 23 appearances this season and has played 1854 minutes, the tenth highest, making him a big part of this seasons heavily rotated side. At the age of 21 he is sure to have a glittering career ahead of him, much like Ben Gibson and Micheal Keane, who are both three years older. Now would be a good time to move and ply his trade at a higher level.
Most likely move – Sevilla or Real Sociedad
Possible others – Everton, Stoke or Burnley.
Yerry Fernando Mina Gonzalez – Palmeiras
Another centre back, 22, who was part of the Palmeiras side that won the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A in 2016. A more well known name in that squad was Manchester City Striker, Gabriel Jesus. For a 22 year old, he’s not short of trophies. As well as that title he was part of the team of the year, as well as winning the Copa Sudamericana in 2015, the Superliga Colombiana in 2015 and the Categoria Primera A in 2014, the latter three with Santa Fe. He also already plays for the Colombian National side and was part of the side that finished third in the Copa America in 2015.
He isn’t goal shy for a defender, having scored 5 goals in 18 games for Palmeiras and 1 in 7 for Colombia – not too shabby! He is likely to step up to a higher level soon, and his performances at both domestic and international levels cannot have gone unnoticed. He is definitely a great player to have in a side with a back three, or a side which plays fast passing football and then looks to convert any set pieces along the way.
Most likely move – Real Madrid or Juventus
Possible others – Manchester City, Liverpool for Chelsea