Last night was a big night for Gabriel Barbosa.
As Santos travelled south to face Internacional away in a very difficult match, the striker had a great performance helping his side get a 2-2 draw.
In the 50th minute, Gabigol had a great finish to level the score 1-1. That was his 15th goal in the league, consolidating himself as the top scorer.
His performance came right after the news saying Crystal Palace are one of the clubs who interested in signing him once his loan contract with Santos expires in December.
That only encouraged reports about his good form.
— Gabriel Barbosa (@gabigol) October 23, 2018
Now with 24 goals in total this season, Gabigol has finally found his best football at Santos.
He’s shown that his problems at Inter Milan and Benfica had something to do with his adaptation to these clubs, and he still has the qualities he’s showed before his move to Italy in 2016.
Gabigol has been responsible for most of Santos’ attacking plays, showing ability when creating chances and being lethal when finishing. Even though he’s never been a genuine number nine, this mix of qualities has been making him a great all around centre-forward this year.
His record in the Brazilian league makes him one of the best players in the country at the moment, and that’s why it’s definitely worth a shot if Crystal Palace are really interested in him, with claims they’ve initiated contact over a transfer.
It’s pretty obvious that the Premier League side can’t just show up throwing money at Inter Milan and get him for the same €30m paid by the Nerazzurri two years ago. But since the Italian side apparently don’t have the intention of having the player back, a good deal can definitely be found.
Maybe a loan move with a buying option in June sounds like the best option for now, even though the player would have little time to adapt.
What is safe to say is that Gabigol has learned from his mistakes, and seems more mature. Not only from his time in Europe, but he’s also evolved from his first months of 2018 as well, and seems finally ready to lead a team to big aspirations.
Gabigol has shown as much potential as the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison. Now it seems like a matter of being psychologically up for the challenge of adapting himself to European football.