Internazionale forward Gabriel Barbosa has been linked with a January loan move to Crystal Palace.
Brazilian outlet UOL recently reported that Crystal Palace have contacted Gabriel Barbosa’s agent over a potential loan move for the forward.
‘Gabigol’, as he has been known, is contracted to Internazionale but has spent 2018 on loan at Santos – the club where he made his name.
Things simply didn’t work out for Gabriel at the San Siro, where his highly publicised arrival in a €29.5m deal brought about expectations that the young forward couldn’t match.
One year and one goal later, he was sent out on loan to Benfica – although they cut his loan short after six months with Gabriel having only featured five times in all competitions.
Despite his real struggles in Europe, the 22-year-old is still a supremely talented player – his 42 goals in Brazil as a teenager are a testament to that, as well as his role in Brazil’s 2016 Olympic title where he played alongside Neymar and Gabriel Jesus.
For that reason, you can understand why an impotent Palace side would be interested in the gamble of giving Gabriel another chance in Europe – especially if it’s only on loan – as they could potentially get a very special player in a position they need to strengthen.
He is back scoring goals in Brazil with Santos – he has 24 this season – but transferring that over to Palace may not be very easy for him.
Palace’s record of scoring goals is very poor this season; Roy Hodgson’s side have the second-worst shot conversion in the Premier League, according to Squawka, and they’ve managed just one goal from ‘big chances’.
They aren’t, however, at the bottom when it comes to creating chances, and that may be exactly why a player like Gabriel would be a good fit. Palace don’t have a recognised striker in anything resembling good form, whereas the Brazilian is currently scoring regularly for Santos.
If they continued to create and had someone there who can stick the ball in the net, it could be a very happy relationship for everyone involved.
Still, it would be back to Europe for Gabriel, where he’s had no success so far, and in a team that struggles to score – Palace may not see much risk, but Gabigol surely would.
And this would surely be his last chance.