·17 April 2023
·17 April 2023
Since breaking onto the South American stage last season, the 18-year-old has become one of the most highly-rated youngsters in the world, let alone the Brazilian championship.
Barcelona have been keeping close tabs on the forward’s development in his homeland, but they’ll have to beat stiff competition from Arsenal and Chelsea to bring him to Europe.
Alongside Andrey Santos, who moved to Stamford Bridge in January, Roque is one of the hottest Brazilian prospects.
He will be one of the key figures at the upcoming 2023 U20 World Cup as Ramon Menezes’ men look to make amends for missing out on the previous tournament.
Five-time U20 world champions and runners-up in 2015, Brazil will enter next month’s competition as one of the favourites to lift the crown.
Roque went from strength to strength at the South American U20 Championship earlier this year, helping his country lift the trophy while finishing joint top-scorer on six goals with Santos.
His eye-catching exploits earned him a place in the Team of the Tournament and put him on the radar of the most prominent clubs in Europe.
Interestingly, Roque wasn’t Menezes’ first choice, but when Palmeiras asked for forwards Endrick and Giovani to be left out of the squad, the Athletico starlet seized the opportunity.
Standing at 5ft 6ins, he is a powerful and agile striker who utilises his strength to generate gaps and can adapt to various attacking set-ups.
Athletico chiefs must be rubbing their hands ahead of the highly-anticipated tug-of-war over Roque’s signature, with Barcelona reluctant to pull out of the race despite their financial turmoil.
As per Diario AS, the Brazilians have slapped a £44.2 million asking price on their prized asset’s head, while they’re also eager to include a 15% sell-on clause.
Roque’s next chance to increase his stock comes in May as Brazil bid to return to the podium for the first time since 2011.
After winning the South American U20 Championship without losing a match despite several squad withdrawals, the Selecao are brimming with confidence.
Led by experienced manager Menezes, the Brazilians conquered the continental tournament earlier this year, racking up seven wins and two draws.
But the potential in this Brazil squad is intimidating.
In addition to Santos and Roque, Palmeiras teenage sensation Endrick, who signed for Real Madrid, will return to the fold after missing out on the South American U-20 Championship.
With Santos and Endrick already penning their moves to Europe, the world’s attention will be on Roque, who has already convinced Luiz Felipe Scolari to make him a permanent first-team fixture at Athletico.
Maybe he could team up with Santos at Stamford Bridge after the tournament, as Chelsea could be willing to swoop in for his signature after deeming David Datro Fofana surplus to requirements.
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