As Manchester United step up their pursuit of Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura, What Culture examines the player, his credentials, and whether he is needed at Old Trafford. Who is Lucas Moura? Lucas Rodrigues Moura da Silva, or just 'Lucas', the name he plays under, is a 19 year old attacking midfielder who currently plays for São Paulo and the Brazilian national team. He made his debut in 2010 aged just 17. He has spent three full seasons for the Brazilian club, making 103 appearances. His most prolific season was in 2011; in 43 appearances he scored 13 times and created 8 assists. He has had frequent call ups to Brazil's Under-20 international side, and featured in the Under-20 South American Championships, where he scored a hat-trick against Uruguay. He made his full international debut for Brazil in a friendly match against Scotland on 27 March 2011. Recently, Lucas has featured in two friendlies against the Netherlands and Romania and scored his first goal on the 28th of September 2011, against Argentina. Why Do Manchester United Need Him? Lucas can play in centre midfield or on the wing, and operates best as a playmaker. He has created 19 assists for São Paulo and, as it looks like Alex Ferguson may miss out on long term target Luka Modric, Lucas would be an adequate replacement. He has already drawn comparisons to Wesley Sneijder, and is coveted by Inter Milan as a long term replacement. With Darren Fletcher's return uncertain and Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs imminently retiring, there is plenty of room for him in United's midfield and he could even strike up a partnership with fellow countryman Anderson in the middle. He has won the "Best Midfielder Award" numerous times in Brazil, and was declared "Best Player" in the 2011 South American Youth Championship. He clearly has a bright future ahead of him, and with United's team brimming with youth and potential at the moment, with the likes of Nick Powell, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck coming through the ranks, he could be a part of a very exciting future at Old Trafford.
Joseph is an accredited football journalist and has interviewed nearly all of the current 20 Barclay's Premier League managers. He is also a correspondent for Bleacher Report and has written for Caught Offside and Give Me Football.