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Wesley: Brazil’s next best winger ready for European transfer

Wesley Corinthians

Nathan Joyes Founder

Corinthians continue to produce world-class talent that rivals their arch-enemies Palmeiras.

With the sale of the highly-rated Gabriel Moscardo to PSG and Murillo exceeding expectations at Nottingham Forest, a young winger could be the next in line to depart and chase his European dream.

Capturing attention

Wesley’s impact with the senior team may have gone (ever so) under the radar in 2023 due to the team's overall performance on the pitch. Finishing 13th in the Brasileirão was never part of the script, but despite their up-and-down season, young blood continued to be given opportunities.

The Brazilian has been part of Timão’s academy since the age of 10, where he debuted on 12th April 2022, eight days after signing a three-year contract. 

The 19-year-old had to wait until 1st August 2023 to score his first professional goal, netting the winner against Newell’s Old Boys in the Copa Sudamericana.

Clever movement saw Wesley manoeuvre into a more central role before executing a well-guided strike from a cross on the right-hand side.

He backed that up with his first Brasileirão goal 11 days later at home against Coritiba.

Receiving the ball in the middle of the pitch, Wesley drove with pace and purpose towards the opponent’s goal before curling home his strike from outside the box.

Heads were beginning to turn in his direction.

Others started to take note after Wesley’s brace earlier this season against Fluminense showed just how high his ceiling could be. Another strike from outside the box opened the scoring for Corinthians, where once again Wesley had moved central to score from range.

His second was special. 

Waltzing through defenders with his quick feet from the left-hand side, the Brazilian sat down the highly experienced Thiago Melo before calmly slotting home. A moment of magic showed a different side to his game which had been bubbling under the surface for quite some time.

Wesley’s style of play

Wesley’s direct approach allows him to carry the ball up the pitch, evading tackles along the way with nimble footwork as well as possessing the confidence to attack. 

Many modern day wingers are often slotted into a system that limits their approach to take on the opposing full-back. 

The more expressive Wesley is allowed to be, the better the results.

In Corinthians’ recent 2-0 defeat to Palmeiras in the Brasileirão, Wesley successfully completed 10 of his 13 dribbles, as well as winning 18 of his 25 ground duels.

His work rate has to be applauded, as he is able to win the ball back in dangerous areas and put pressure on full-backs taking too long to release the ball.

To compare, Estêvão completed just three of his seven in the same match. For further context, the Chelsea-bound wonderkid has averaged 1.9 successful dribbles per match (48%), whereas Corinthians Wesley has averaged 3.2.

This is a winger who will look to beat his man without all the flicks and tricks to go with it, which is rather refreshing to see. The fact he’s lightning quick also helps, as well as having with the ability to keep the ball under control at speed is another impressive part of his overall profile.

Operating in tight areas appears to be no problem at all for the 19-year-old, who can wriggle out of the smallest gaps, working one-twos with his teammates, looking to receive the ball on the front foot as he begins to gallop towards opposing defenders.

Brave on the ball, Wesley knows how to ride a tackle or win clever free kicks. The amount of kicks and shirt pulls he’s received already is not only a compliment to his ability, but also shows adapting to European football won’t be an issue.

With pace, power and a high footballing IQ, there's no doubt Wesley is one of the best young talents in Brazil.

What next for Wesley?

There’s been plenty of European interest and with Corinthians continuing to churn out young talent, it's no surprise to see their best continuing to be hoovered up within their first couple of seasons of debuting with the senior side.

Confidence is key, but a strong mentality is what separates those who can succeed in Europe compared to those who don’t. Wesley has that, which is why clubs are keen to strike a deal.

For sure, there are areas of his game that require fine-tuning, in particular his goal contribution numbers, but in a team capable of creating and finishing better, Wesley might just come alive.

He isn’t the finished player, but the rough diamond we see today has the right attributes to be successful in Europe.


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