With social media’s influence on the modern game it is normal for players to be dubbed the ‘next big thing’ far too early into their careers and it is becoming seemingly normal for players to attract interest from big clubs before they make their first senior appearance for club or country. While he seems like yet another social media phenomenon, the 2006 born, Endrick Felipe Moreira de Sousa is a different case and the hype is very well justified. At just 15 years of age he lead Palmeiras U20 to their first ever Copinha (Brazil’s biggest youth tournament) while scoring six goals in just 294 minutes (1.84 goals per 90) and generating interest from La Liga juggernauts Real Madrid and Barcelona who will be racing for his signature in 2024. Pundits and Bettors such as those at the Everygame Red Casino have already began predicting where the starlet is going to end up, with the likes of Madrid and Barcelona the bookmakers favorites.
Despite being just 15, Endrick is already physically advanced for his age, his pace and power was on full display at the Copinha as he recorded the tournaments top speed and he possesses the ability to sustain his pace over longer distances. He only stands at 5 foot 7 however his powerful jump allows him to be an aerial threat despite his height.
Technically, his game is everything you’d expect from a Brazilian forward, he has a brilliant first touch and does extremely well in tight spaces especially when his back is facing the goal and like most Brazilians is extremely skill full and creative with his dribbling. His immaturities do show at times when he tends to showboat however its’ a trait which if coached well can be transformed to an extremely useful asset for a player to possess.
His movement is extremely advanced for his age, while he isn’t usually involved in progressing the play he can drop deep to receive between the lines and combine due to his strength and can still quickly get into advanced positions thanks to his pace. He usually positions himself between the centre backs and is always ready to run in behind. He often drifts out to the wide areas and uses his pace and skill to create chances from there for both himself and the team, however, this is mainly during transitions to create space and is usually intelligently positioned near the central areas of the final third.
Endrick is an extremely complete and efficient goalscorer, depsite being just 15 and playing with players upto 5 years older than him he managed to lead the Copinha in goals scored in just 294 minutes of play.
As mentioned previously, he’s always playing off shoulder to the centre backs and with his blistering pace even clearances can be transformed into goal scoring opportunities, and he’s always stationed in a way to receive through balls in the build up.
Being small and quick, he’s extremely difficult to mark and this combined with his ability to play in tight spaces and an excellent first touch-which also has great orientation, makes it very easy for him to get high xG shots off and create quality chances before opponents can react properly.
Endricks’ finishing from the central areas is extremely good and he usually tends to finish from the right side with his stronger left foot, however is equally comfortable taking shots with his right especially from central areas. His confidence is seen with one goal from the halfway line and an overhead kick from outside the box which one the goal of the tournament however he often takes low xG shots from wide angles and attempts to showboat in finishes, something he can improve over time.
Below is Endrick’s shot chart over the Copinha
Through the chart we notice that he usually takes high xG chances but isn’t afraid to shoot from a distance or tight angle, his trademark finish is a low drilled shot with his left and his finishing is usually accurate and powerful regardless of which foot he’s shooting with.
Lets’ take an example of a few of Endrick’s goals which show of his plasticity and technical ability.
Over here we can see the sheer confidence and technical ability the kid possesses as he drill a floating ball at the edge of the box top corner with an overhead kick, which immediately broke the internet in brazil and won him the goal of the tournament.
In this goal, we get a glimpse of Endricks’ pace and ability to beat his man in tight spaces as he receives the ball on the left of the final third, beats two defenders and lobs the keeper from tight angle with the utmost poise and to give his team the win vs Real Ariquemes.
In his second goal vs Real Ariquemes, we see his ability to create with his back turned to goal, the young striker shakes off his man with ease and scores with an extremely powerful left footed finish which some would regards as his trademark to seal the win for Palmeiras.
Endricks’ pace and power means he often wins free kicks’ in decisive areas and wins nearly 3 fouls per 90, allowing his team to create through set pieces and his ability to draw fouls is also a trait which can easily translate to senior football.
He also is extremely good with linking up play and uses his dribbling effectively to create chances for his teammates, often playing intricate 1-2s with his teammates such as the one depicted below. Endrick is also very good under pressure and is an effective tool to drop in sometimes in order to beat a higher press, despite not dropping back often its’ something he can do and this shows his offensive versatility at just 15.
Furthermore, despite being the ‘golden child’ of his team Endrick is an extremely hard worker, his speed allows him to effectively press and he recovers the ball often for a striker.
Despite all the hype and potential Endrick shows and the interest he has generated, he’s still only 15 and there’s no telling where the prodigy lans up in the years to come. While he will develop his game even more, even if he doesn’t he’s an extremely interesting talent at the senior level with the flair and poise of a Brazilian forward combined with an incredible instinct for goal. Any team that signs him when he turns 18 will surely possess a great talent and if developed correctly the Palmeiras U20 star can make waves for years to come and catapult Brazilian football into the next generation.
Endrick Felipe (15) 🇧🇷, Forward, Palmeiras (under 20) pic.twitter.com/LD2bm94IQM
— Niels 🇳🇱 (@NielsNufc) June 26, 2022