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‘Sold like a couple of sacks of soybeans’ – Kayky’s Man City move sums up Brazilian wonderkid brain drain

The perilous financial situation at many of Brazil’s top clubs mean youngsters are being sold at an increasingly early stage in their careers

Manchester City will soon be welcoming the latest new member of their Brazilian contingent.

Ederson, Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus will undoubtedly be tasked with making Kayky feel at home once the attacking prodigy completes his £9 million ($12m) move from Fluminense at the end of the year, by which time he will still be just 18 years old.

With just a handful of games under his belt, the striker is a gamble for City, even if they can well afford it. The implications for the game’s future in his native country, though, are troubling. It is becoming harder and harder for even the biggest clubs to hold on to their prospects.

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“He came, he seduced us, he impressed and he left. Kayky was sold to Manchester City like a couple of sacks of soybeans,” Tribuna de Minas writer Gabriel Ferreira Borges fired in a scathing column following confirmation of the teenager’s imminent move.

Kayky and team-mate Metinho, a fellow City target, Borges opines, “will have different fates in the City Football Group’s game of Russian Roulette. The future is a game of chance between Lommel and Girona.”

The former, who was watched closely by the club before making his debut for Flu at the start of 2021 and, reports in Brazil suggest, had been signed prior to ever setting foot on the pitch at senior level, is at least expected to be retained by City once he arrives in England.

Whether he stays or spends the next few seasons jumping from CFG affiliate to CFG affiliate will depend largely on his adaptation to the Premier League.

For Metinho, 18 and with just a single first-team appearance to his name, a different destination awaits. France’s Troyes are expected to benefit from the youngster’s talents once a final deal is struck between Fluminense and City, who will sign him and send him straight out on loan – perhaps without ever seeing the Etihad Stadium.

“I think the Championship is the most interesting destination for players outside of Argentina and Brazil.”

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If Arthur’s prodigious development continues it will not be long before Europe’s elite are hot on his heels, with City or another Premier League club likely to form part of that chase.

The English top flight has traditionally stayed away from South America, in most cases choosing to buy once players have made their name in Europe, but that is already changing.

Impoverished clubs in Brazil and elsewhere, meanwhile, need the production line to keep moving – and the biggest beneficiaries of that ‘commodity’, thanks to their unrivalled spending power and the easing of restrictions, will be English sides hungry for ready-made wonderkids.

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