With Liverpool reportedly close to announcing the signing of Marcelo Pitaluga from Fluminense, the club’s fans may be wondering how this move originated.
The 17-year-old never made an appearance for the Brazilian side’s first team, and could only be scouted in club and national team youth ranks.
Pitaluga played for the U15, U16 and U17 levels for Brazil. He was a reserve both in the South American championship and at the World Cup last year.
That makes it more likely that Liverpool have been following him at Fluminense’s academy. He featured in the Copa São Paulo back in January, and that’s an U20 tournament which attracts scouts from all over the world.
In that competition, he not only made good saves, but could also show his skills with the ball at his feet, always helping the defence to build up plays. The youngster is clearly very keen at joining in with the play and isn’t scared of coming out of his area to do so.
His biggest flaws were when coming out for corners and crosses, something he needs to be more assertive at.
What makes this unusual signing quite interesting is the connection between Marcelo Pitaluga and Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.
The Brazilian media believe the Reds’ plan is to make the teenager the ‘heir’ of the Liverpool star, and it would be no surprise if it was Alisson himself who suggested the signing.
Pitaluga is Fluminense’s fourth choice goalkeeper, while the regular starter is Muriel, Alisson’s brother. They’ve been training together since 2019.
Earlier this year, when Alisson returned to Brazil, he also trained at Fluminense, and was pictured with both Muriel and Pitaluga.
The Liverpool goalkeeper certainly had time to check the youngster’s skills, and perhaps chose him to be his successor. They both have German heritage, which isn’t something very usual for Brazilians. As reported by UOL, they’ve also been in touch in the past few days.