Reported West Ham and Newcastle United target Everton Soares is enduring his worst goal drought in two years, with Gremio coach Renato Gaucho admitting to Globo Esporte that the Brazil international has had ‘better days’.
12 months ago, the jet-heeled 24-year-old was the toast of South America.
It was Everton who inspired a Neymar-less Brazil to Copa America glory in 2019, capping a breakthrough tournament with a 25-yard thunderbolt in the 3-1 final victory over Peru as the Samba stars tasted silverware for the first time in over a decade.
Flash forward to the present day and, despite big-money links with a whole host of European clubs, Everton continues to look a shadow of his formerly thrilling self.
For the first time since 2018, the Gremio academy graduate has gone eight games without finding the back of the net.
Has he been found out? Or is this merely a bump in the road?
“Everton has had better days, better games,” admits Gaucho, who believes his star man is struggling to deal with some rather heavy-handed defensive tactics.
“But it is Everton. Even though he is not at 100 per cent, he still helps us a lot and scares the opponent.
“He is very heavily marked. The moment he gets the ball, he has two or three opponents around him.
“He is one of the best in Brazil, sought after by European clubs. Many have already looked for Gremio, and other offers will arrive.
“In a little while, he will score again.”
Speaking to SGLR in April, Gremio president Romildo Bolzan admitted that Everton had held talks with Carlo Ancelotti regarding a potential move to, well, Everton.
AreaNapoli claims that Newcastle, Leicester, West Ham and even a newly-promoted West Brom side are interested too in a £22 million-rated forward whose explosive attacking prowess had seen him compared to Cristiano Ronaldo by 2002 World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.