Swansea City are reportedly looking at Brazilian forward Lucas Lima should Icelandic midfield maestro Gylfi Sigurdsson leave the club this summer, according to reports coming from The Sun.
The 27-year-old’s future has been widely speculated over the transfer window to date, with bids from Everton being rejected, as reported by The Guardian, and his Swansea career remains in the balance.
And reports from early on Sunday morning now claim that the Swans have got Santos man Lima firmly on their radar as they look to line-up a replacement should Sigurdsson in fact go this summer.
Who is Lucas Lima?
Born in Marilia, in the region of Sao Paulo, Lima had brief spells at Rio Preto and America SP as a youngster before breaking through the youth system at Inter de Limeira and into their first-team.
He made his professional debut in 2010, scoring his first goal just two weeks later, before being awarded with a trial at former La Liga side Racing Santander in 2011.
Although nothing came of this he did earn himself a move to Brazilian Serie A side Internacional during the 2012 season, making 14 appearances – and four starts – during his single season there.
A loan spell at fellow top-flight side Sport Recife before his big move to Santos in 2014, and he has since played 186 games for them, scoring 18 times and earning a call-up to the Brazil national side.
His international debut came in 2015 where he featured in friendlies against the United States and Costa Rica before becoming a regular in 2018 World Cup qualifiers, scoring against Argentina in May.
Would his style of play suit Swansea City?
Like many native Brazilian playmakers he is very tricky and pacey in the final third, constantly on the move and looking to take the ball past defenders with an instant burst of acceleration in the middle.
Energetic is perhaps the best way to describe his mindset on the pitch and, potentially moving to a Swansea side that only narrowly avoided relegation, his contagious energy can only be a good thing.
Once on the ball it’s incredibly hard to get him off of it due to the hustling nature of his driving runs combined with his excellent ball retention; but in spite of his natural ability to run with the ball at his feet, he’s one of the most selfless players and is constantly on the lookout for that killer pass.
Another attribute worthy of note is his ability from set-pieces – we all know Sigurdsson’s quality from dead ball situations – and Lima has both the ability to score and deliver with very good consistency.
Going for an unknown player that has yet to prove himself in Europe will no doubt be a risk for manager Paul Clement, but it could turn out to be a gamble that pays dividends in the new season.
How likely is a move to Wales?
The Sun claim that Lima could be made available should Swansea submit a formal offer in the region of £15 million, which would be achievable should they coup £50 million from Sigurdsson’s sale.
But there’s no guarantee that he’d be able to secure a work permit for the move to the United Kingdom – and the Swans would have to pay a hefty fee – so a move could be firmly in the balance.
The switch obviously hinges on whether Sigurdsson stays or goes too, and it’s fair to assume that Clement is currently focusing his time on trying to persuade the Icelandic midfielder to stay in Wales.