Sporting Lisbon has produced a few footballing legends in the last few decades, and they've got a crop of young talent coming through that may be the deepest in the history of the Portuguese club. One of the most highly touted of that bunch has been linked with Chelsea over the course of the past few weeks, so we're going to take a look at Bruma today.
Bruma's full name is Armindo Tué Na Bangna, and he was born October 24, 1994. He joined Sporting Lisbon at the age of 12, and has now been with the club for six years. His first five seasons saw him starring for the youth sides in various age groups, and he impressed enough that he began the 2012/13 season as a member of their B side*. After just 25 impressive appearances including 7 goals, the 18-year became a regular with the senior side. He featured in all of the club's final 13 games, starting 11 of them and scoring his first senior goal.
*They get in in Portugal...B sides are the best way for young talent to bridge the gap between the youth ranks and senior level competition at top sides
Bruma stands about 5'8" tall, and seems like a fairly strong kid for his size. He's been gifted with excellent pace, explosiveness, and leaping ability that draw inevitable comparisons to former Sporting academy product Cristiano Ronaldo. I hate these sorts of comparisons, and this really isn't even remotely fair to Bruma. While he's an excellent and raw athlete like Ronaldo, so are hundreds of other young prospects that have a more imposing physical build.
He's plays primarily on the wing at this point in time, although he looks like a player capable of of playing in quite a few different roles going forward. Long standing target Lazar Markovic seems like a fair comparison in this regard, with excellent tools on hand with a long term position yet to be determined.
Skills wise, there's an awful lot of highlight reel stuff mixed in with all sorts of inconsistency. Want an example? Here you go:
The raw talent is obvious here, but watching him play certainly highlights some rough edges as well. Watching Bruma actually reminds me an awful lot of watching Ramires, although some of the poor decisions we see from Bruma are a lot easier to understand because of his age.
Here's a little longer video featuring some of what the kid can do:
Watching that, it's not hard to see why Chelsea would be interested. It is, however, difficult to see him making an impact with the first team right away. I could see Jose Mourinho giving him some minutes in low pressure situations this season, but he'd likely be far better served spending a season developing on loan.
Bruma has one year remaining on his first professional contract, so if Sporting are having trouble extending him, he'll almost certainly be sold this summer. There are reportedly some third party ownership issues involved here though, so a deal might not be as simple as just naming our best price.
All in all, If I was Michael Emenalo, I'd make sure I was motioning his situation closely. He's a very, very good prospect that plays a variety of positions we're very deep at, but if Sporting are looking to cash in* before he really breaks out, he'd represent an excellent chance at getting fantastic value.
*Sporting have serious financial problems, but I think Bruma's impact on the situation is being a bit overstated here. Unless Bruma goes for a pretty substantial figure (think triple what we've been hearing), his sale isn't going to make much of an impact to debt issues of the Lisbon club. They'd certainly want to hang on to him for another year if they can, as his value would almost certainly skyrocket.