Barcelona completed the signing of Vitor Roque on Tuesday, with the 18-year-old arrival carrying the goal-scoring hopes of the club for the future on his shoulders.
Signed for €40 million from Athletico Paranaense, the young Brazilian may be Barca’s only arrival during the January transfer window due to the ongoing financial concerns of the club, so this is a deal that the Camp Nou side cannot afford to get wrong.
While the teenager is under pressure to hit the ground running in light of Robert Lewandowski’s recent struggles – hence his arrival six months before schedule – this is a deal that Barcelona appear to have got exactly right.
According to data analytics firm SciSports, Roque may only be a hot prospect by the Blaugrana’s standards at this point in time, but he has the capacity to develop into one of their leading players.
Indeed, his ceiling may not be as high as La Masia graduates Gavi and Alejandro Balde, or even 2020 arrival Pedri, but his potential is still significant enough to put him into the category of a potentially elite future player.
Barcelona’s most promising U25 players (SciSport)
Vitor Roque shows Haaland similarities
Barcelona can expect Vitor Roque to act as a modern forward in the style of Erling Haaland, who is undoubtedly the benchmark player in that particular role at present.
As displayed by SciSports, the players are highly similar, with both acting as poachers for their teams.
2023 | Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (BRA)
Centre forward (1788 Minutes played)
2022/2023 | Premier League (ENG)
Centre forward (2901 Minutes played)
The significance of this transfer blow for Barcelona is unlikely to be lost on anyone, but especially not rivals Real Madrid.
While Los Blancos are scrambling around still looking for Karim Benzema’s replacement in the No.9 role six months after the Ballon d’Or winner departed for the Saudi Pro League, Barca have moved swiftly to sign a talent who could be among the best in his position in just a few years’ time.
And Barca, of course, have the expertise in nurturing such talent required to make Vitor Roque their future Haaland.