Analysis: Who is Barcelona-linked wonderkid Danilo Oliveira?

There have been many young talents breaking through in Brazil over the last few years. The likes of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo have turned into key players for Real Madrid, with both having joined directly from South America.

Endrick is the newest sensation from the area, with the 16-year-old set to join the two aforementioned players at the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2024. There is an abundance of talent in Brazil, and European clubs are sniffing around.

Barcelona are one of these clubs, and they have been linked with a move for midfielder Danilo Oliveira, who is teammates with Endrick at Palmeiras. Danilo is a regular starter for the Brazilian giants, despite being aged just 21. The deal would involve both Barca and fellow La Liga club Real Betis splitting any potential fee, whilst would involve a joint-ownership of the player. The reason for this involves his transfer value. Palmeiras value Danilo at €25m, which is above what both Barca and Betis are willing to pay.

Danilo made his debut for Palmeiras in the Serie A aged 19. In his team at the club, he has helped them securing back to back Copa Libertadores titles in 2020 and 2021. During this period, he established himself as a first team player, regularly operating as part of a two-man defensive midfield in a 4-2-3-1 formation. However, he can operate as a pivot, which would make him an attractive prospect to Barcelona.

Danilo’s link-up play is one of his greatest strengths. He is very adept at playing around the midfield, and creating openings for offensive players. He has a strong range of passing, and is comfortable playing the ball forward as well as backwards,  reminiscent of the likes of Pedri and Sergio Busquets at Barca.

His agility is also a particular strong point of his game. He has an impressive ability to weave out of oncoming challenges, even in situations of multiple players attempting to steal the ball. His dribbling is good too, meaning that he can be trusted to retain the ball. He can also play in tight spaces, which would be of value to a team like Barcelona. Despite his young age, he appears to have great longevity. He appeared in 34 Serie A matches last season, starting in the majority of those, as well as eight in CONMEBOL Libertadores.

However, he is a very raw talent. Although he has showed plenty of promise, his overall game will need to be tidied up before being able to appear regularly at a club like Barcelona. Although he has good dribbling, his close control will need to be worked on, and he will not be afforded as much space in Spain as he is in Brazil.

All in all, he could be someone that fits into Barcelona’s style of play. With his ability to play between the lines and a good passing range, he has the basics to succeed at the Blaugrana. However, it remains to be seen whether a deal can be struck.

Arsenal have been strong admirers of Danilo since last summer, and they remain interested in his services, according to The Express. Furthermore, both Ajax and AS Monaco want to sign the Brazilian, meaning that any deal for Barcelona could be difficult.

Tags Barcelona Danilo Oliveira Palmeiras Real Betis
La Liga - Club News