Is Porto’s Yacine Brahimi ready to be next big Premier League purchase?
Portuguese giants Porto (10/3 with Coral to beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final first leg) may have done it again.
The Dragons continuously dazzle with their transfer policy, snapping up top talents across the globe for peanuts, before offloading the stars they have nurtured for more than a pretty penny.
Coral experts recently compiled a sensational starting XI of the best Porto purchases from the last two decades to be sold for profit, which you can read here. However, as the Dragons prepare for the next Champions League phase, we focus on the present and catch up with the progress of the savvy Portuguese club’s current most-prized asset: Algeria international Yacine Brahimi.
Take a look at this award-winning African Footballer of the Year’s best moments below:
Brilliant Brahimi is the latest Dragon’s danger-man to be mooted for a move to the Premier League, as reports suggest Arsenal are ready to meet an apparent £33m release cause to prise him from the Primeira Liga.
If accurate, that would mean plucky Porto stand to make almost £26m on top of the reported £5.6m bargain price they paid to pluck the Algeria attacker from Granada, following his impressive World Cup exploits. So, Brahimi may well just become the Dragons’ customary summer sacrifice, ahead of Colombia hitman Jackson Martinez.
However, is BBC 2014 African Footballer of the Year Brahimi, also said to be on the radar of Manchester rivals City and United, really worth such a fee? See a selection of the wing wizard’s skills here and decide for yourself:
For staunch La Liga followers, who may not have kept track of the former Granada wingman, the answer may not appear so clear. Brahimi was certainly a threat for Watford’s sister club and Iberian part of the Pozzo family’s football empire, where he showcased all the trademark skills that him such a hit in Brazil, but was not quite the finished package.
It was end product that the 22-capped Desert Foxes dangerman was criticised for in Spain, where he was also crowned Best African Player, as Brahimi regularly placed himself in scoring positions, but came up short with just three goals and five assists in 64 appearances.
A jaw-dropping dribbler, Brahimi has the directness, pace, power and quickness of feet to dance through defences at will or, failing that, simply force his way though. His is certainly a style that would suit the Premier League, and compliment Arsenal’s similarly strong and adaptable Alexis Sanchez.
Most comfortable drifting from the left, bullish Brahimi can play anywhere across attacking midfield areas, and has made an instant impact since arriving at the Estadio de Dragao in summer, carrying on World Cup form that saw him impress international audiences.
Having immediately excelled in Portugal, however, Brahimi has shown a fantastic aptitude to adapt and step up his game. Not fazed by Champions League football, the 25-year-old has provided five of his 12 goals, and three of 10 assists, in just seven outings in the continental competition. Quite the improvement.
Brahimi clearly has a taste for the biggest stages, having grabbed a crucial opener, and also an assist, against Basel last time out in Europe. Now the toughest test of his career is about to arrive, as the in-form forward prepares to help Porto (5/1 to qualify for the Champions League semi-finals) down German Juggernaut Bayern Munich.
The Paris-born speedster is in the most prolific patch of his career, and has both the physicality and guile to challenge Bayern’s backline, making him the man to watch in Munich.
At 25, Brahimi has hopefully not yet reached his peak and, if the Algeria attacker can impress again, Arsenal may struggle to stay ahead in the expected queue for his services.
For a final taste of his talents, view Brahimi bullying Basel:
If you’re as impressed as we are with Brahimi, back him at 4/1 to net anytime in the first leg against depleted Bayern.