NEYMAR is no doubt the biggest name in France at the moment.
Since his move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, the world’s most expensive player has been on fire – scoring four goals and notching four assists in five Ligue 1 games.
But he isn’t the only Brazilian attacker taking the French league by storm.
Our friends at Football Whispers profile Bordeaux’s impressive South American Malcom.
After impressing with Corinthians, where he scored ten goals in 73 appearances, he made the move to Europe with Bordeaux in January 2016, for a fee believed to be £4.1million.
The winger proved himself as being capable of moments of individual brilliance but didn’t seem like someone who could perhaps perform to the top level consistently week in, week out.
That may have been down to his age though, with Malcom being just 18 when he arrived in France.
At 20, he is of course still very young, but he is starting to show a maturity that suggests he could be a force to be reckoned with.
Before this season, his record saw him with 11 goals in 58 matches for Les Girondins.
So far this campaign, he has three goals and three assists in six league matches Bordeaux, who join PSG as one of the two unbeaten sides in Ligue 1.
The most impressive of his three strikes was undoubtedly against Lyon in August.
With his side 3-2 down with 90 minutes on the clock, he picked up the ball just inside the Lyon half, cutting onto his left foot and speeding past the opposing defender, before laying it off to a team-mate.
He got it back, took a touch, before firing an unstoppable 25-yard striker into the top corner.
It was the kind of goal that makes the casual onlooker stand up, take attention and think “wow”.
The strike was symbolic of his great form this season.
The campaign is early but it feels like he’s become a matchwinner capable of changing games.
Neymar vs Malcolm 2017-18
Transfer value: £198m
Transfer value: £30m
And this could be down to his change in role this season, with manager Jocelyn Gourvennec giving him a freer role this season, with a lot of the creative duties which fell to Valentin Vada last campaign now being Malcom’s responsibility.
His pace, vision, intelligent movement and finishing have all been on show so far this campaign.
Like you would expect from a young Brazilian winger, Malcom is able to hug the touchline and loves standing up defenders inviting them to make a move.
His quick feet allow him to draw in his unsuspecting victims before beating them with pace.
He was subject of Liverpool and Manchester United transfer rumours last season, but it doesn’t appear there was any real move from either of the Premier League giants for him in the summer.
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More concrete interest came from Germany, with both Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg in hot pursuit of the talented Brazilian, but Bordeaux rebuffed all offers.
That’s despite the bid from Wolfsburg being at £30million, according to RMC Sport.
Asked about his rising star’s future, Gourvennec said:“You just need to see him every day.
“He is still just as joyous and galvanising for the squad as ever.
“He has even been acting as a translator for his new Brazilian team-mates.
“He is not at all affected by everything that is being said. Even if he is still young, he is also very mature.”
And that maturity surely makes him one of the most exciting prospects in France.
It’s no surprise that Bordeaux are keen on signing him down to a new deal, with president Stephane Martin telling RMC that the Brazilian and the club were ‘close to reaching an agreement’.
With Bordeaux already out of European competition this season and the interest in Malcom only further likely to grow, it would be no surprise if he becomes one of the hottest prospects in Europe in the next transfer window, even if he does sign a new deal.
The likes of Eden Hazard, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy and Alexandre Lacazette have all proved themselves in France before making the move to the Premier League.
If Malcom’s form continues like it is, there is no reason to suggest he won’t be the next name crossing the channel to great success.
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