Adryan 19 Midfielder Flamengo Brazil
2013 has been…
One year ago, Adryan was said to be on the wish list of a number of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Manchester United. The Premier League Champions, as they did with the Da Silva twins and Rodrigo Possebon, have a habit of approaching exciting Brazilian talent before they have a chance to sign a professional contract at the age of 17 and tying them into an agreement. Adryan has admitted to rejecting United’s offer; electing to stay in Brazil and develop as a player with Flamengo.
One year on, the high volume of interest has cooled. Vitesse are the only strong suitors left with Juventus mentioned on a couple of occasions in recent weeks. However, The Old Lady have actually got their eye on Adryan’s Flamengo team-mate Mattheus, the son of former Brazil ace Bebeto and the baby known the world over thanks to his father's 'cradle-rocking' celebration at the 1994 World Cup.
Adryan Oliveira Tavares has been in the public spotlight since the 2011 under-17 World Cup in Mexico. The playmaker, who sparkled at the point of Brazil’s midfield, scored five times during the tournament as Brazil were eventually eliminated in the semi-finals and finished fourth.
Technically good, as you’d expect, the Flamengo youngster is also pretty good over a set-piece. However, the last 12 months have not seen Adryan continue to earn fans. His form and confidence have both been low since a poor showing at the 2013 South American Youth Championship in January. The whole Brazil squad were poor as they finished bottom of their group with just one win from four games. Adryan has been unable to turn things around since then and just two weeks ago, he was booed off the pitch by his own fans after failing to make a telling impact in a Serie A match against Goias.
His league opportunities have been limited through poor form and an injury. Nine of his 11 Serie A appearances so far in 2013 have been from the bench and rarely lasted longer than 30 minutes. It doesn’t help that Flamengo are struggling in the bottom half of the table and the club can’t afford to be patient with Adryan. Thankfully, his manager is aware of his struggles and has been nothing but supportive when talking about his prodigious young star.
After an early burst of exciting performances, it’s not uncommon for young players to go through a crisis of confidence. It almost always stems from the fact that injuries happen and teams work out what tricks and skills young players like to show-off. It’s how they react to the tough parts that set them apart.
The challenge for Adryan is to find his feet again and start to influence games. He likes to be the guy that lays on chances for those around him. He compliments that nicely with a nice knack of arriving late into the area for cut-backs and rebounds. His performances at the under-17 World Cup remain fresh enough in the memory of most that a move to Europe could still be on the cards should he want it; especially if Flamengo make the mistake of not renewing his contract in the next year. A new home, particularly one in the Eredivisie, might just be all that Adryan needs to find his swagger once again.
For now, he needs to prove to the Flamengo fans that he is worth all the hype and that this year has just been a blip. If the youngster doubles down, works hard to improve his game and utilises the experience of the team-mates around him, he can go beyond his 2011 performances. If he doesn’t, he could end up another Brazilian hot shot that struggles to deal with the pressure of expectation.
"Flamengo fans talk of the “next Zico” like Manchester United fans (used to) talk of the “next George Best”, and at the moment, Adryan’s chances of inheriting the mantle are looking rather more Russell Beardsmore than Ryan Giggs. He has started just two games in the Brasileirão this year, and was booed when taken off during a recent game with Goiás." - James Young, Tall Coconuts
"Flamengo's golden boy still has time on his side, but the hype that once surrounded his emergence has now faded. He's secured a new deal with the club, but is not yet featuring enough at first-team level." - Christopher Atkins, The Elastico
"Adryan has created a scoring chance for his teammates every 54 minutes so far this season in Serie A; more frequently than Elano (66 minutes)." - Opta
D Hard work is the only thing that can save you