Gustavo Maia is now a Barça B player. The 19-year-old Brazilian winger has joined from Sao Paulo in a €4.5m deal. He's known for his versatility and his fine goal-scoring form. Atletico Madrid and Liverpool were both keeping tabs on the player but Barça stole a march on their rivals.
Maia is a striker that's comfortable playing anywhere across the front three. His natural position is on the left of the attack, so he can cut inside on his stronger right foot. Maia is a great dribbler, loves to beat his marker one-on-one and has end product to his game.
Like most Brazilian academy prospects, he's comfortable with the ball at his feet and has the speed to break down rival defences. Maia is creative but young, so he's sometimes guilty of trying too much on his own.
Barça HAVE FOLLOWED HIM SINCE 2018
The scout reports on Maia have been very good since 2018. In the 2018/19 season, he scored 30 goals in 36 appearances for Sau Paulo's youth side. His signing was confirmed in January following strong performances in the Copa Sao Paulo de Juniores. Maia scored three goals in seven matches. Barça scouts believe he was ready to make the move over to Spain and play for the B side.
Maia has the qualities needed to succeed as a winger in the youth team: technically and tactically sound with an eye for goal. There's also huge room for growth.
MADE IN Cotia
Maia came through Cotia, Sao Paulo's modern training centre and where Colombia were based for the 2014 World Cup. He was born in Brasilia and arrived at the academy at the age of 14. Maia hadn't broke into the first team but was valued very highly at the club.
Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 crisis, Maia hasn't played football for four months. He was expected to feature in another tournament but that was cancelled due to Brazil's poor handling of the virus. This has meant the young winger has needed to enlist the help of a personal trainer to maintain his fitness and development.
Last month Maia began Spanish classes as he looks to settle in quickly at the Camp Nou.