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Left-footed Neymar

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When the FIFA World Cup 2022 kicks off in Qatar on November 20, five-time champions Brazil will, like always, be among the favourites. Such has been the amount of talent that comes out of the country that the Selecao have always dazzled everyone on the biggest stage. And while in Qatar, the main focus will be on Neymar and Co as they will look to win Brazil’s sixth World Cup, on the sidelines, the next generations of Brazilian talent are slowly taking shape.

Kayky da Silva Chagas famously known as Kayky, is one such talent. The 19-year-old is among the top players to come out of the Brazilian league. The right winger rose to prominence in the Fluminense youth set-up. Kayky’s rise coincides with Vitor Roque of Athletico Paranaense and Endrick Felipe of Palmeiras

Rated as one of the most promising talents to come out of Brazil, Kayky was quickly snapped by Manchester City. The English club then sent him to the Portuguese side Pacos de Ferreira. Kayky has also been rated as a wunderkind by the reputed data analytics site Soccerment. 

So, who is Kayky, and how good is he?

How good is Kayky?

Kayky was born on June 11, 2003, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Kayky, unlike millions of his fellow citizens, showed interest in being a paediatrician from a very young age. However, his parents decided he could have a better career in football. This was why his parents tried to enrol him in Fluminense’s youth academy, one of the best in the nation. Instead, he joined the local side of Mangueira. However, in what can only be termed great irony, Kayky scored a hat-trick against none other than Fluminense in his first match.

This performance motivated Fluminense, who signed him up for their under-9 futsal squad. Kayky showed remarkable talent as he made rapid progress through the various youth level before making his debut for Fluminense’s under-17 team. The club’s youth team has produced some of the finest young prospects in recent years.

Joao Pedro, who now plays for Watford and Fluminense first-team players Marcos Paulo, Matheus Martinelli, Lucas Calegari and Luiz Henrique, are some of the brightest talents to come out of the club’s youth set-up. 

Capable of playing on either wing, Kayky was dubbed the ”left-footed Neymar”. It is because he prefers to play on the right wing and loves to cut back inside on his left foot like a certain Arjen Robben. His impressive displays caught the attention of Manchester City. 

In recent years, the English club have looked to sign young talented players and turn them into world-class stars. Real Madrid has done so by signing players such as Casemiro, and Vinicius Jr, which has turned out to be among the best investments they have made in recent years. 

However, City had a star-studded squad which meant there was no place for Kayky, and thus he was sent to Pacos de Ferreira.

Kayky stats 

In his first Brazilian league season, Kayky was sparingly used. However, he reserved his best for Copa Libertadores. South America’sAmerica’s continental tournament. He scored his first goal against the Colombian side Junior FC. He also provided an assist against another Colombian side Independiente Santa Fe. A season before, he had been the top scorer for the Campeonato Brasileiro Sub-17, the national competition for the under-17 team in Brazil.

Immediately after signing for City, Kayky was sent to the under-23s in the Premier League 2. Kayky was only 18 then but took no time adapting to the team scoring six goals and providing four assists in 13 matches. He was City’s fifth-highest scorer that season. 

However, he has failed to replicate his form at Pacos de Ferreira. Over the six games in the Primeira Liga, he has neither scored a goal nor provided an assist. 

Kayky’s positioning and style of play 

Kayky is a skilful player, but his dribbling separates him from the best. Make no mistakes; Kayky is an impressive passer and is very intelligent in off-the-ball movements; however, he does not enjoy these activities as much as dribbling the ball. 

The teenager prefers to do the most challenging thing for his team, receiving the ball at his feet and then trying to take on defenders. This is why he gets dispossessed a lot, but when it clicks, few are better. 

One of his most impressive abilities is cutting back inside and unleashing a ferocious shot from his favoured left foot. His exceptional dribbling skills are also due to the many years he spent playing futsal which has refined his skills in close, confined spaces.

Kayky always tugs close to the line, thus exploiting the entire length of the pitch. This allows him advantages in two ways. Firstly, it forces the opposition to stretch their play, leaving gaps in their shape. Secondly, while attacking from the edge, Kayky can cut inside on his favoured left foot, using which he now has the entire field to move the play forward.

However, this has become such a standard part of his game that teams have now deployed strategies that nullify this strength. It is why he is struggling to get going and will need to add other skills if he wants to be as successful as some of his other compatriots in Europe.

Kayky transfer news 

With City’s new transfer approach, Kayky will be given at least two years before City decide whether to part with him or not. So, unless then, Kayky is unlikely to leave Manchester. However, he could be sent on loan to accelerate his development. 

In his time at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has presided over the development of players such as Phil Foden and Oleksandr Zinchenko. And the tiki-taka maestro could repeat the trick with Kayky. 

However, if the 19-year-old wants to make his name at the Etihad, he needs to do it quickly because an average season in Portugal doesn’t scream a Manchester City starter. But if Vinicius Jr can do it, so can Kayky.

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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