Tim Vickery on West Ham, Newcastle and Real Madrid-linked striker – ‘He has Aguero-like qualities’

The arms race for the best young attacking talent is getting ever more ferocious as football scouting becomes more extensive, and agents adept at ensuring all the right people know about the latest precocious forwards. In particular, that race tends to end in Brazil.

Santos forward Marcos Leonardo, 20, is the latest to be tipped to make the jump across the Atlantic Ocean, with a number of suitors interested. Sevilla were initially interested, and while the price tag mentioned for either a January or July move has been set at around €20m, it looks as if they might be priced out.

More recently, Real Madrid, West Ham and Newcastle United have been linked to Leonardo, with his representatives seen at the Santiago Bernabeu recently. In spite of his youth, he has already played 162 times, scoring 54 goals and providing 11 assists.

“There is a kind of Aguero-type striker there, he is not particularly tall but comes alive in the penalty box and I think there is talent there as well. He needs to be supplied. I remember seeing him last year, I was really, really looking forward to seeing him but he had an absolute mare.”

“Everything he did outside the box fell to pieces but I like him a lot, inside the penalty box. He has got that ability in tight spaces, that kind of Aguero or Romario-type ability.”

“You wonder if he would make an immediate impact at West Ham, I probably doubt it, but he is one for the long haul.”

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