Thohir excited by Gabigol potential

The young Brazilian attacker is regarded as one of the top prospects in the game, and he has been tipped to emulate the likes of Neymar

Inter president Erick Thohir has backed Gabriel Barbosa to be an integral part of the club’s revival after agreeing a five-year deal at San Siro.

The 20-year-old was one of football’s hottest properties during the transfer window following his exploits for Santos and Brazil, with a host of European clubs reportedly vying for his signature.

Leicester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus were all linked with a move for the striker, but he chose Inter.

Gabriel – who is also known as Gabigol – followed in the footsteps of Joao Mario, Antonio Candreva and Ever Banega in moving to Inter, and Thohir believes the youngster is the final piece of the jigsaw.

He told the club’s official website: “We’re proud that Gabigol has chosen to join us in order to prove what he can do in a new footballing environment, having already showcased his ability in the Brazilian domestic leagues and with the national team.

“He will play a big part in the team both now and going forward.

“Inter have always kept an eye on young talent and we’re sure that Frank de Boer is the right coach to get the best out of stars like Gabigol.”

READ MORE  | Gabigol completes Inter move

After making his Santos debut as a substitute in Neymar’s final match before departing for Barcelona in 2013, Gabriel scored 57 times in 157 appearances in all competitions, winning two Campeonato Paulistas with the club.

He also netted on his Brazil debut in the 2-0 win over Panama in March and has now struck twice in four games for the national side.

The youngster also represented his country at the Copa America Centenario and played an important role in securing Olympic gold at Rio 2016.

Now he has set his sights on performing for Inter.

“Becoming an Inter player on my 20th birthday was a wonderful present,” he said. “It feels amazing to join a club with so much history.

“I’ve already had a taste of the Nerazzurri supporters’ passion and I can’t wait to play in front of them at San Siro. It is a dream come true.”