Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton are hoping to lure Santos star Yeferson Soteldo to the Premier League – is the Venezuelan Goodison Park-bound?
Anyone who is willing to don the iconic ‘number ten’ shirt of Santos must be prepared to take the rough with the smooth. That is just the way of things when you are following in the footsteps of not only Neymar but also arguably the greatest footballer ever to grace planet earth: Edson Arantes do Nascimento.
You might know him as ‘Pele’.
Fortunately, Yeferson Soteldo has not allowed such crushing pressure to weigh him down.
The diminutive Venezuelan has done Neymar and Pele proud with his fabulous performances at the heart of the Santos attack over the last 14 months or so.
However it seems only a matter of time before Soteldo takes a leaf out of Neymar’s book with his spell as the beating heart of a South American giant coming to an end already.
Santos’s president, Jose Carlos Perez, has already confirmed Everton’s interest in a £32 million-rated forward with ‘sensational’ technical ability (Calciomercato). And, speaking recently to The Original Drink Team, the man himself admitted that he plans to bid farewell to life in Brazil later this year.
Yet Pele, who played and scored over 600 times in the white of Santos, would be sad to see his fresh-faced predecessor bid farewell.
“Soteldo is one of the players who has balance in midfield. He plays at the front, in the centre, on the left, on the right… He is a player who has been useful for Santos,” said the three-time World Cup winner, in quotes reported by El Nacional.
Times have changed, of course, in the last 50 years.
The game is a global one these days and the chasm between European and South American football is growing larger with the pull of the Premier League too good for many a Brazil-based star to turn down.
The chances of Soteldo spending the vast majority of his professional career at Santos, a la Pele, look decidedly slim.