The Brazilian youngster finally arrived in Barcelonain the recent days. After a lengthy transfer saga that started well before the summer window opened, the Blaugrana have, at last, managed to bring the youngster in for January.
The deal to sign the 18-year-old is reportedly worth up to a whopping €61 million, but there was still some uncertainty about whether or not he could join in the winter transfer window. Barcelona’s dire financial situation cast major doubt on their ability to register Roque, but it seems that those fears can be put to bed now.
Expectations of the youngster will be sky-high, especially in light of Robert Lewandowski’s recent form. The veteran Pole has struggled to consistently find the back of the net in recent weeks, so there is a very real scenario in which Roque actually takes his place rather than just being his understudy.
The hype surrounding Roque is immense and his former sporting director has done little to lower expectations with his latest comments.
Alexandre Mattos, the former sporting director of Roque’s ex-club Athletico Paranaense, waxed lyrical about the youngster in a recent interview with RAC1. “He looks a lot like Ronaldo [Nazario]. He is explosive, he has strength, he has the ability to score goals, he has the necessary requirements to be one of the best strikers in the world.”
“He has enough qualities to be successful. He has strength, his mental side is very strong, and his goalscoring ability, too. He is better as a 9 because he is strong, he is always ready to score and he is a danger because he is very quick. Defences always have big worries about him.”
“Mentally he is ready to make the leap from Brazil to Europe, even though he is young. He has already played the Copa Libertadores as if he were playing at home. He is ready to play in Europe.”