West Ham head of recruitment Rob Newman has set up a scouting network in Brazil, and he’s already used it to bring in a new player.
Defender Luizao is joining the Hammers in January, and his São Paulo teammate Pablo Maia was linked with a move to London.
Brazilian forward Roger Guedes may be someone that Newman adds to his list of scouting targets. Guedes has enjoyed his time at Corinthians, but his career has been far from easy. He has suffered bullying, a culture shock and unique shirt numbers along the way.
West Ham already has connections to Corinthians. The Sao Paulo-based club famously sold Argentina stars Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez to the East End in 2006, while Paraguayan defender Fabian Balbuena is currently in his second spell at the club. Balbuena had previously spent four years at the London Stadium, and he may put in a good word for Guedes.
Full Name: Roger Krug Guedes
Place of Birth: Ibirubá, Brazil
Honours: 1x Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, 1x Chinese FA Cup
Roger Guedes spent his youth career at Grêmio and Criciúma. He signed a professional contract with the latter in 2014 and was promoted to the first team in 2015. He scored eight goals in 57 league games for Criciúma before he signed for Palmeiras in 2016.
After Gabriel Jesus was sold to Manchester City in January 2017, Guedes was chosen to fill the vacant forward position. He decided to tie down his future with Verdão and agreed a new contract, which allowed the club to extend his release clause. Although he wanted to make a good impression for his team, he was not treated with respect. He supposedly experienced abuse and harassment from his teammates and manager, which resulted in Guedes forcing a move to Altético Mineiro in late 2017. The moved paid off; he scored 11 goals in 20 games.
Guedes left Brazil for China in July 2018 after he signed for Shandong Luneng Taishan. He took time to settle into a new country, but his footballing ability grew. He was considered a vital member of the team and won the 2020 domestic cup. A few months after he tasted silverware, he opted to move back to Brazil to be closer to his family. He signed for Corinthians.
Guedes chose to wear a unique number in his first season with Timão. He wore the number 12, as the number 23 shirt was already taken and Guedes uses this to honour his son’s birthday. He now wears the number ten, which was last worn by Willian.
Away from football, Guedes is known for being a devout Christian. He often references his faith in interviews and on social media, and he attends church before games.
STYLE OF PLAY
Guedes runs into narrow angles when he approaches the box, and he frequently shoots from close range. Goalkeepers have found it hard to close him down from this trajectory, as he gives them very little time to react.
His passing would be useful for current West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca. Scamacca is accustomed to playing off short passes, and this creates good link-up play. This would help Guedes, who would have an extra forward to pass to in a pressing situation. Moreover, Guedes thrives under pressure and normally forces two opposition defenders to cover him.
Guedes is a patient forward. He appears composed on the ball, makes level-headed decisions and emphasises a need for accurate shooting.