A year ago, we could say that Lucas Lima was getting some fame in Europe. Playing at a high level for Santos, the midfielder even got some caps for the Brazilian national team, and attracted the interest from several clubs.
There was only one Premier League club who reportedly made an offer at the time, and that was Crystal Palace. The deal would be of a one year trial, and in case the midfielder did well, then the London side would pay his release clause.
But Lucas Lima had bigger aspirations at the time, and rejected the Crystal Palace approach to wait for something better. One year later, he was heavily linked to Barcelona, where he would be taken by one of his agents, Neymar’s father. However, with the star’s move to PSG, the deal collapsed.
Now things have changed a lot since the summer. With Santos fans upset with Lucas Lima’s lack of effort on the pitch, the player’s relationship with the club has gone sour.
That’s why this week, the Brazilian side decided to keep him out of the next few league games left in the season. That means he won’t play for Santos again, as his contract expires at the end of the year.
There’s a big rumour in Brazil saying everything is agreed for him to join Palmeiras, but with one condition: that will only happen in case he doesn’t get any good offers from European football.
And that’s where Crystal Palace could find another chance. Because in an interview with Estadão today, his other agent Wagner Ribeiro claimed a Premier League move could still happen.
He was asked who the next Brazilian player in the Premier League will be, and said: “I would like Lucas Lima to play in a Premier League. Because he has a lot of talent and it would make him known worldwide.”
Asked if it’s still a possibility, and not just a wish, he claimed: “Of course. He is free. As a player of the national team, he can play in England. You know that the passport problem, in Italy, for example, is a complicated thing. But as he has a very great talent, this will not be a problem.”
So despite the managerial changes since the summer of 2016, maybe that’s a sign for Crystal Palace. Signing such a player for free could end up being a decent deal, especially now he’s realised Barcelona won’t come for him again.
With more than one month left on his contract with Santos, the fact that he isn’t playing will allow Lucas Lima to choose his next club very carefully. But for him to change his mind about Palace, maybe someone should stop him from looking at the Premier League table.