Too much has happened since the last Sonar pings, and while some of these events have been dealt with here at Anything Palmeiras – for example the sacking of coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo and the arrival of Abel Ferreira – others have not. It makes little sense spending time on last month’s exits of 30-year-old defensive midfielder Bruno Henrique for Al-Ittihad (Saudi Arabia) for US$ 5 million, or 29-yar-old defender Vitor Hugo, sold for US$ 4 million to Trabzonspor (Turkey). Our thank you – in particular to Bruno Henrique for a spectacular 2018 season that culminated in the Brasileirão title – and best of luck to both.
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Last week Palmeiras announced the signing of 24-year-old Chilean defender Benjamín Kuscevic from Universidad de Chile, the club reportedly paying some US$ 1.3 million for 50% of the player’s economic rights. The allegedly aggressive and fast defender has signed a five-season contract with Palmeiras: “a boy’s dream come true”, as he told reporters.
Yet another defender was announced yesterday: Alan Empereur. The 26-year-old Brazilian celebrated his return to the homeland, having spent more than ten years playing for a number of Italian clubs, most recently Hellas Verona. “As an Italian-Brazilian, there was no better home for me to choose”, he told journalists during the press conference. Alan is on a loan contract with Palmeiras until June 2021, let’s see if the club will exercise its buying option. Alan is left-footed and can play both centre-lock and fullback, which might prove useful with Viña’s frequent absence to defend the national team.
Today, a third player came to terms with Palmeiras and is expected to sign tomorrow, medical exams pending: forward Breno Lopes, currently at second-division Juventude and the runner-up on the tournament’s top scorer’s table of the season with nine goals. Reportedly, we’re looking at a four-year agreement, with Palmeiras paying some US$ 1.4 million for 50% of the player’s economic rights. With the closing of the window for the arrival of players from abroad, the club needed to work the domestic market in search of options for Wesley, who last week underwent knee surgery and will need at least three months to recover. Breno had been on Palmeiras’ radar for some time and his arrival will give Abel one more option on the flanks, in addition to Rony and Veron.
Felipe Melo did indeed break his ankle against Vasco da Gama last Sunday. Yesterday he underwent surgery and recovery is expected to take 3-4 months. Força, Felipe!
To finish things off, a troubling piece of news: Luan has tested positive for Covid-19. This is of course first and foremost bad news for the athlete and his family. Secondly, the risk is high other players in the squad have been exposed and will test positive in the coming days. Thirdly, tomorrow against Ceará for the quarterfinals in the Brazil Cup, Luan was the only remaining player in Palmeiras’ regular defensive lineup: Weverton, Gómez, Viña and Menino are all serving their national teams. Thus, adding the injured and sick to the count, Palmeiras step up to the challenge without 8 (!) regular starters.
Nevertheless… Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
* Here at Anything Palmeiras, we love football. We love Palmeiras. We are always keen to see Palmeiras play, and keen to write about it for you. But we’re against the return of football in a country that still hasn’t controlled the coronavirus pandemic. We express our deepest sympathy to the families whose loved ones have been taken by the disease.
** Featured image by Cesar Greco