Vitor Hugo Naum dos Santos, commonly known as Vitinho, is one of the latest names from Brazil to draw the attention of top European clubs. The forward has been linked with a potential transfer to clubs like Sevilla and Ajax. Liga Portugal side Benfica also are said to have their sights on the player. The 23-year-old plays in the Brazilian top tier for Athletico Paranaense, one of the most prominent clubs in the country. He is currently under contract with the Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv but was loaned back to his former club in Brazil due to the ongoing Ukraine war. In 2022, he made 48 appearances between both clubs, scoring five goals and assisting two. Let’s now look at some additional stats to understand why Vitinho is luring interest from European clubs.
Vitinho played 25 matches for Athletico Paranaense in Brazilian Serie A in 2022. Averaging around 57 mins per game, he started in 17 matches and came on as a sub in eight. The above viz shows the stats of the player in comparison to the other players featured as left-attacking midfielders. We can observe that Vitinho has a high rank in parameters like aerial duels, opposition penalty area touches, and accurate passes. Meanwhile, he holds average stats in areas like defensive duels, progressive passes, and goal contributions.
Vitinho attacking stats
Vitinho has two goals to his name in the Brazilian Serie A this season. The benchmarking visual above compare the player with other players playing in a similar position on the basis of expected goals (xG). The 23-year-old attacker’s xG equates to 0.25 per 90 minutes, placing him third in the ranking.
The image above depicts Vitinho’s shot map from the Brazilian Serie A 2022. He has taken almost all of his 36 shots from the left side of the pitch, with an xG of 4.37. The majority of his shots are from inside the penalty box, but he has also shown the ability to strike from distance. He has scored one of his goals from the centre of the 6-yard box and the other from the edge of the penalty box on the left side. Vitinho averages 2.1 shots per match with an accuracy rate of 41.67%. Interestingly, quite a few of his shots from dangerous areas in the penalty box have been blocked or missed the target. Finishing and composure are two attacking aspects of his game that he may want to improve.
In the Brazilian Serie A, Vitinho usually features on the left side of the attacking line. The visuals above map the players’ touches and ball progression actions this season. We can observe that Vitinho gets the most touches in wide areas near the touchline in the final third. From there, he moves or carries the ball inside. He averages around 3.4 progressive passes and two passes into the opposition’s penalty area per 90 minutes. He also makes 3.8 dribbles, 2.8 progressive runs, and 1.6 crosses per game. Another aspect of his game worth highlighting is defensive duels. He wins 55% of the defensive duels and 34.5% of the aerial duels, and both these figures are decent in comparison with other players.
What could be the young forward’s role at Benfica?
Benfica is currently at the top of the Liga Portugal table, having had an outstanding season.They have shown incredible form this season, going on an unbeaten run in their 13 matches so far. The Eagles are aggressively chasing their first league title in three years and are currently leading the charge. Therefore, they could be willing to add more talent and depth to their attacking positions in their bid to reclaim the throne.
While David Neres is Benfica’s focal point of offence on the right side, the team lacks attacking options on the left. Midfielder Joao Mario usually features in the left attacking midfield position in the starting eleven, with Julian Draxler and Chiquinho being utilised as squad players.
The addition of Vitinho will bring more potential and depth to the Benfica attack. He could play as the left-sided attacker and replace 27-year-old attacking midfielder Chiquinho, who is struggling for game time. The viz above compares the performance of the two players in their respective leagues. It can be observed that Vitinho has the upper hand in some stats over his counterpart, namely shots, accurate passes, positioning, and defensive and aerial duels. What’s interesting is that the young Brazilian will have plenty of time to discover his true potential at a decorated club like Benfica.
Vitinho could move to a European club from the Brazilian top tier. He displays attacking intent with an eye for goal, but he is also someone who works hard for the team. The 23-year-old could evolve into a regular member of the Benfica team and a future prospect, should the club decide to sign him.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine