AC Milan have agreed a deal with Brazilian side Flamengo, for the transfer of Leo Duarte. The young defender is arriving for a figure close to €11 million and is expected to sign a 5 year deal with the Rossoneri, however, Milanisti around the world may be wondering just who their new centre back is and why he was brought to the club.
Leo Duarte is considered a very technical defender. He is a high volume passer, averaging 35.3 passes per game, while connecting on 90.3% of his passes this season. He is able to retain the ball under pressure and break defensive lines with both his passing and dribbling skills. On the defensive end he proved just as solid, averaging 2.4 successful tackles and 1.9 clearances per game. Furthermore, Duarte is an incredible athlete. This allows for versatility in his game as he has shown absurd levels of pace for a defender. This enables him to potentially shift out wide to the right back position if required.
Leo Duarte played the initial 7 games of season in the Brazilian Serie A helping Flamengo climb to 3rd place after 12 rounds. However, after rumours of his move to Milan began circling, he found himself out of the starting lineup.
At such a young age Leo Duarte still has a lot of growing to do as a player. Duarte can sometimes be reckless in challenges, leading to a culmination of cards. This is largely due to the nature of his game. He is a defender who tackles often and sometimes unnecessarily. In addition to this, he has occasionally shown vulnerability in the air, especially against more physical opponents. However, with time on his side and mentor-ship from a certain Paolo Maldini, Duarte has both the technical and physical skills required to succeed as a great defender in Serie A.