By Andre Baibich | Chief Editor, Goal.com Brazil
When Harry Redknapp was this week quizzed on the possibility of Santos midfielder Ganso joining Tottenham, his reply perhaps caught many of the waiting journalists by surprise.
The former West Ham boss immediately dismissed the rumour, claiming he had "never even heard of" the Brazilian. Now, with Spurs having been offered the 22-year-old and chairman Daniel Levy said to be keen on pursuing a transfer, Goal.com Brazil's chief editor, Andre Baibach, has penned a letter outlining why the 64-year-old may want to look into this particular link just a little deeper...
Porto Alegre, Brazil, January 12th, 2012
Dear Mr Redknapp,
I hope this letter finds you well.
Recently, I heard you saying that you don't know who Paulo Henrique Ganso is. I don't know if you were being ironic or serious but I assumed you were serious and decided to write and offer a little help in understanding who you'll be dealing with if Spurs decide to sign him.
First, I have to say I'm sorry that you don't know him, because if that's true, you didn't see him play in the first half of 2010. This is a tragedy for anyone who loves football, like you, because you should have seen this kid – it was fun.
At times, he reminded me of Zinedine Zidane and, watching Ganso, I had the feeling he was controlling the whole match and making everyone else play at the pace he desired, much like 'Zizou' used to do in his prime. It was exciting, finally, a classic midfield 'maestro' was rising in Brazil.
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Of course, everyone was even more interested in the more flamboyant Neymar in the brilliant Santos team that won the Brazilian Cup but there was plenty of praise to go around. If Neymar was capable of going through two, three, four defenders on his way to the goal, Ganso was the commander of the midfield with his precise passes, accurate vision and that elegant posture that brought back memories of historical Brazilian players like Didi or Falcao - who all made football seem like the easiest sport in the world to play.
I'm telling you this, Mr Redknapp, just to give you an idea of the talent you'll be dealing with if Ganso goes to White Hart Lane. We're talking about someone who has enough potential to become one of the greatest players on the planet.
But, before you get too excited, I shouldn't hide from you that since a major injury to this knee in August of 2010, he hasn't been the same. The brilliant passes and the vision are there, but he doesn't move that well anymore. That makes it easy for defenders to take him away from the match and reduce his influence.
To make things worse, at the moment he never seems to shake off his injuries completely. After the knee problem that sidelined him for six months, a series of muscular injuries followed and he never seemed to get in rhythm. It seemed like every time he was starting to replicate those beautiful performances, another problem emerged and he was back in physical therapy.
At this point, Mr. Redknapp, you must be thinking that the kid's only problem is physical. I wish it was. If Ganso in fact joins your beloved Spurs, he is going to be a bit of a handful. Lately, it seems that he thinks that he already is the new Zidane.
You're going to have to be harsh on him, and I mean really harsh. Sometimes he seems to just walk around the pitch casually when his team doesn't have the ball, making no effort to defend. His attitude off the pitch, with investors and agents who seem to control his whole career, is not promising either.
However, if you can recover Ganso physically and mentally, I'm sure you won't regret signing him. He will be your No.10 for the future and the player to lead Spurs to greatness. On top of that, you'll win the heart of every single Brazilian, because you will be giving us back the talent of the player who is supposed to command the Selecao's midfield in 2014.
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