The lowdown: European woes
Initially brought across the Atlantic by Inter Milan in 2017, Barbosa – known as Gabigol – was loaned to Benfica and then Santos, as he managed a meagre two goals during his time in Europe.
Since returning to his homeland on a permanent basis with a move to Flamengo though, the 25-year-old frontman has scored a sensational 102 goals and registered another 28 assists in 158 appearances for the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A side and has earned senior international recognition with Brazil.
That form has led to strong links with a return to Europe as the likes of West Ham, Arsenal, Everton, Aston Villa and Newcastle United all pay close attention to the flamboyant hitman…
The latest: Hat in the ring?
He said: “Now, whether that ends up being Aston Villa or Newcastle or West Ham, I don’t know, but I do think that this might be the summer Gabigol finally lands, and whoever takes that punt, it might be worth it.
“Wolves as well, by the way, they might even come into the equation. Somebody is going to take a punt on him.”
The verdict: Marquee signing
Bruno Lage could certainly be on the lookout for an additional centre-forward firepower in the transfer window with Raul Jimenez struggling to recapture his best form after the head injury and Fabio Silva still adapting to life at the elite level.
Those issues, coupled with injuries to key attackers such as Pedro Neto, meant that scoring goals was a major issue at Molineux last term as the Old Gold ended the campaign as the lowest scorers outside of the Premier League relegation zone with just 38 strikes.
Already boasting a well-decorated career, Gabigol – who was described as having ‘everything’ a striker needs by Brazil legend Zico – scored 18 times and registered two assists in 35 appearances during the 2021/22 campaign.
In that time, the mercurial tattoo-laden Brazilian with an eye for the spectacular earned a 6.95 Sofascore rating comprising of 0.7 successful dribbles, 1.2 key passes and 2.4 shots per game in the South American nation’s top flight.
With 147 goals total in 298 career outings, signing the £23.4million valued maverick could be a worthwhile risk from Lage and Jeff Shi as the Wanderers attempt to address an alarming lack of goal threat.
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