Ramires, Robinho & more: The Brazilian hits and misses in the Premier League

With Oscar and Lucas Moura potentially on their way to England in the next few weeks, we look at 10 of their compatriots who have had mixed success after making the switch
By Danny Hart

Following in the footsteps of a number of Brazilian players down the years, Oscar and Lucas Moura could become the latest to make moves abroad to the Premier League.

As exclusively revealed earlier this month by Goal.com, Chelsea are closing in on the signing of International starlet Oscar after outbidding Tottenham for the £20 million midfielder, while Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed on Wednesday that the Old Trafford giants were in the hunt to sign Sao Paulo's Lucas Moura.

While a number of Brazilians have enjoyed spells in England's top flight in the past, several have struggled to adjust to the league since making the switch.

From Arsenal success stories to contrasting outcomes for Middlesbrough, we take a look at five hits and five misses from the Premier League era.

Edu (Arsenal - 2001 to 2005)

You can think of Oscar as a younger version of Kaka, both on and off the pitch. But there are concerns regarding his physical attributes. Should Chelsea try and make the player stronger than he is right now, without compromising his quickness and agility? Who knows how far Oscar can go?

Matheus Harb, Goal.com Brazil
Despite not firmly cementing a starting place during his four years at Arsenal, Edu can still be considered a Premier League hit.

The midfielder, who joined the Gunners in a £6m deal from Corinthians in 2001, took time to settle at the club after picking up an injury shortly after coming on as a substitute to make his debut against Leicester City.

It was not until Edu's second season at Highbury that boss Arsene Wenger was able to give him more opportunities in the first team. The Brazilian took his chances, though, and went on to play a role as a squad player as Arsenal won back-to-back FA Cups and a Premier League title between 2002 and 2003.

He also featured heavily the following season as the north London side went the whole Premier League campaign unbeaten, but opted not to sign a new deal with the club a year later and ended his spell in England to join Valencia.

Gilberto Silva (Arsenal - 2002 to 2008)

Another successful Brazilian midfielder at Arsenal, World Cup-winning anchorman Gilberto Silva picked up one Premier League medal and two FA Cups during a six-year spell with the club.

The former Atletico Mineiro man was a key member of the 'Invincibles' midfield, starting 29 of his 32 league appearances in the 2003-04 season, and established himself enough as an experienced first-team regular to be named vice-captain in 2006.

Gilberto looked certain to be handed the captaincy on a permanent basis following the departure of Thierry Henry to Barcelona in 2007, but Wenger surprisingly opted to name William Gallas as the club's new skipper.

That, combined with losing his place in the centre of midfield to Mathieu Flamini, meant his time in England did not end as he would have liked. Gilberto left the Emirates for Panathinaikos when his contract expired at the end of the season.

Juninho (M'boro - 95 to 97, 99 to 00, 02 to 04)

In October 1995, newly promoted Middlesbrough pulled off one of the Premier League's most surprising signings to date, capturing Sao Paulo starlet Juninho for £4.75m.

The attacking midfielder earned legendary status over three spells at Boro, scoring 34 goals in 154 games and helping the club to finals in both domestic cups in 1998 before starring six years later to guide them to a League Cup triumph over Bolton Wanderers.

Despite winning the Confederations Cup and World Cup with Brazil, Juninho maintains that the League Cup success in 2004 - the club's only major trophy in their history - is his greatest achievement in football.

Seven years on from making his final appearance for the Teessiders, Juninho returned to have a testimonial against PSV in July 2011. The Brazilian made a 35-minute cameo in front of over 20,000 fans to say goodbye to a club where he is largely considered their best ever player.

Lucas Leiva (Liverpool - 2007 to present)

Lucas Leiva drew criticism from fans and pundits after struggling to adapt quickly to the Premier League following his £5m switch to Liverpool from Gremio in 2007.

The midfielder, moving to the club as a senior international and the captain of Brazil's Under-20 side, even received boos from sections of his own support after a string of poor performances during his second season on Merseyside.

However, improved displays since the departure of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid in 2009 have seen Lucas become a fans' favourite at Anfield. The Brazilian was named player of the year for the 2010-11 season and has firmly cemented his place at the heart of the Liverpool midfield.

A serious knee injury in November 2011 cut short what started off as a promising campaign for the player, and he is now targeting a return for the beginning of the 2012-13 season after initially fearing he would never play again.

Ramires (Chelsea - 2010 to present)

Carlo Ancelotti turned to £17m midfielder Ramires to fill the void left by the released Michael Ballack and Deco after Chelsea's double-winning 2009-10 season.

After a slow start, the former Benfica man soon proved his worth at Stamford Bridge and has gone on to become first pick in midfield ahead of the likes of the previously untouchable Michael Essien and Frank Lampard.

Although he scored the opening goal in the FA Cup final win over Liverpool in May, perhaps the Brazilian's greatest moment in a Chelsea shirt so far came in the Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona in April.

Knowing he would miss the final after picking up a booking, Ramires led the comeback from two goals down at Camp Nou by scoring a stunning chip to inspire the club's comeback on their way to the final - a strike that earned him the Blues' goal of the season award for the second year in a row.

Afonso Alves (Middlesbrough - 2008 to 2009)

There was a sense of excitement on Teesside when Middlesbrough splashed out a club-record £12m fee in January 2008 for Afonso Alves - a player who had scored 48 goals in as many games for previous club Heerenveen and even netted a memorable seven times in one match against Heracles.

Although it took him nine games to find the net for Boro, Alves' impressive form towards the end of the season, which saw him score twice against Manchester United, bag a hat-trick against Manchester City and end the campaign on six goals, prompted the introduction of a "BORO GOAL MACHINE" banner at the Riverside.

But it is his first - and only - full season at the club which fans will remember him by. The striker scored just four league goals in 31 appearances as Middlesbrough, then managed by Gareth Southgate, suffered relegation from the Premier League for the first time in 12 years.

Alves was sold to Al Sadd the following season and Southgate later revealed that the decision to take the Brazilian to the club was made above his head.

Kleberson (Man Utd - 2003 to 2005)

Kleberson was one of five new arrivals in a summer of change at Manchester United in 2003, with Sir Alex Ferguson having high hopes for the 2002 World Cup winner after beating Leeds United to his signature.

"One of the reasons we sold [Juan Sebastian] Veron was because we knew we were getting Kleberson - that shows how highly we regard his talent," the Scot said at the time.

But injuries and a lack of form restricted the £6m signing from Atletico Paranaense to just 16 Premier League starts in two seasons. The midfielder was then moved on to Besiktas for less than half of what was paid for him.

Despite a poor spell at Old Trafford, Kleberson remained in the international picture for several years, winning the Copa America in 2004 and the Confederations Cup in 2009, while also being included in Brazil's 2010 World Cup squad.

Mario Jardel (Bolton - 2003 to 2004)

Much like Alves, Mario Jardel was expected to be a hit in the Premier League after moving to Bolton from Sporting in 2003.

The striker had been a prolific goalscorer for close to a decade with Vasco da Gama, Gremio, Porto, Galatasaray and Sporting before joining the Trotters, and Sam Allardyce's influx of overseas stars helped the club retain their top-flight status for a second consecutive year.

Jay Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff and Ivan Campo all proved to be successes at Bolton, but Jardel was unable to recapture the kind of form that had seen him capped 10 times by his national side.

He failed to score or start in a Premier League match, only coming on as a substitute seven times, but he did net three times in the League Cup - twice against Walsall and once against Liverpool.

Robinho (Man City - 2008 to 2010)

Robinho was the first major world star to buy into the Manchester City 'project' when he moved to Eastlands in a shock £32.5m switch from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day in 2008.

The forward proved an instant hit with the City faithful by scoring a free-kick just 13 minutes into his debut against Chelsea, and further enhanced his growing reputation among fans in England with a run of 12 goals in 19 games in the first half of the 2008-09 season.

The goals then began to dry up, though, with the forward enduring a torrid spell of 17 matches without finding the score sheet before netting in three consecutive games towards the end of the campaign.

A similar goalless run in the first half of the following season saw then-newly appointed City manager Roberto Mancini loan the player to Santos after handing him five matches in the first team to prove himself. Robinho returned from his loan spell at the beginning of the 2010-11 campaign but was sold to AC Milan.

Roque Junior (Leeds - 2003)

Leeds fans were told by boss Peter Reid that the club had signed "another quality player" after snapping up Roque Junior from AC Milan on a season-long loan in the summer of 2003.

Arriving at Elland Road a year after winning the World Cup with Brazil and just four months after helping Milan to a Champions League triumph over Juventus, big things were expected of the 27-year-old.

But, despite having successfully kept out the likes of Miroslav Klose, David Trezeguet and Alessandro Del Piero just months previously, the centre-back was unable to prevent a Paul Dickov-inspired Leicester City running out 4-0 winners on his debut in English football.

That emphatic loss proved a sign of things to come for Leeds, who were relegated, and Roque Junior, who was sent off once, booked three times and conceded a staggering 25 goals in his seven matches for the club before having his loan spell cut short by mutual consent. He did, however, score twice in a 3-2 League Cup defeat against rivals Manchester United.

Follow Danny Hart on