The Star is reporting that Sheffield United are eyeing up a move for defensive midfielder Vinícius Souza. The 24-year-old Brazilian plays for Lommel in Belgium, which falls under Manchester City’s global network.
He was in attendance during last week’s friendly between United and Girona, at City’s training ground. Last season, he played on loan for Espanyol, participating in 37 matches while they experienced relegation from La Liga. Despite playing in a relegation side, Vinícius Souza racked up impressive performances.
In the last couple of season’s, the player has been deemed “one-to-watch” and he even made The Analysts top 50 players to watch in the 22/23 season. He has previously faced speculation linking him to West Ham United and Celtic, but a move never materialised.
Souza doesn’t offer much in an attacking and creative sense but he more than makes up for that with his defensive abilities. He has previously been likened to Nemanja Matić.
In the past year, Vinícius Souza has registered an outstanding 3.67 tackles per 90, which ranks him in the top 2% of midfielders in the world, in that regard. He also features in the top 3% for aerial duels won, and top 4% for interceptions [FBref].
His style of play is comparable to Fulham’s João Palhinha, who happened to be the best defensive midfielder in the Premier League last season. Palhinha is slightly a better tackler than Vinícius Souza, performing 4.26 tackles per 90, but Souza eclipses him in interceptions, aerial duels and clearances.