The teenager only moved to Roma last summer and despite having only started 22 games in Serie A last season, Manchester United are one of three huge clubs (Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain also interested) looking to poach him away from the Italian giants.
He was spotted by Corinthians, one of the biggest clubs in Brazil, when he was just eight-years-old which is a tribute to the talent he has always displayed even from a very early age.
He showed during those early years that he could play a combination of defensive roles effectively, playing in central defence, at full back and in a holding midfield position.
Not all young boys have the ability to play different roles with the same levels of responsibility at such a young age.
His impact in his early teenage years was so huge that he was quickly drafted into the Brazil Under-17 squad for the youth World Cup, he made 14 appearances for that side in total before being provisionally included in the Brazil Under-23 squad for the Olympic Games last year.
What that tells us is that pressure and expectation isn’t a problem and that he was playing well for a Brazilian national side, long before he got anywhere near regular first team football at Corinthians.
He has a variety of attributes as a player, which also make him a special talent and immensely popular in Roma.
He has blistering pace, he’s good in the air, he passes well and he reads the game well, all the attributes any huge side would be looking for in a teenage defender who would ultimately cost them a great deal of time and money.
It’s all of that potential which is why the big sides are after him, because there isn’t really any career record to go on.
It’s that potential that caused Roma to fork out €3 million for him, which has turned out to be a bargain because he’s developed in the way that Italian side have expected him to.
Few players in the future history of football will ever go from making their first team debut at the start of one-year before being signed and transformed into one of the most highly rated young defenders in European football.
United may face a bidding war to try and get him and it’s important for David Moyes to try and keep a realistic head on the deal.
However, the biggest problem with that approach is that if his career continues to progress along the same lines that it already has done, this could well be United’s only chance to get their hands on him.
What would Marquinhos add to Manchester United? Do you think he’s worth the trouble?
image: © Damien Cansse