Yesterday afternoon, Wesley Moraes fulfilled his childhood dream of playing for his country, against all odds Wesley has managed to fulfil his lifelong ambition, which millions of people worldwide only can only ever dream of. This man deserves your respect.
It’s been well documented that Wes’ childhood has provided him with many obstacles, from his father leaving him at the tender age of nine, becoming a father at the age of 15 and one of his legs being almost three centimetres shorter than the other – it’s clear that absolutely nothing can stop Wesley from achieving his dreams. But of course, none of this is new information to you all. Wesley’s struggles helped shape him become the man and footballer that he is today.
Wesley’s inclusion in the Brazil squad may have came as a surprise to some, along with Douglas Luiz’s, especially as it was at the expense of the injured David Neres of Ajax. Nevertheless, it was a replacement that made sense, here’s why…
Strength in depth
Brazil is a nation known for producing world class players, this generation of players also features some truly world class talents, such as Neymar, Firmino, Casemiro and many, many more… but looking at the natural out and out strikers in the Brazil squad, the only one for me that fits that profile (before Wes’ inclusion) is Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus. So surely going for another more “traditional” striker – instead of a player such as Rodrygo (who is more versatile and can cover multiple positions in the front line), it makes sense to bring in a backup striker, right?
Whilst Wesley is only 22, he has played a lot of football for a man of his age – Wes is currently on 137 appearances at club level. Which to provide context, is 12 more games than Gabriel Jesus, of who’m plays the same position as Wesley. The main reason he has been called up however, is that he has been playing Premier League football.
Playing in the best league in the world, scoring four goals in twelve appearances (1:3), Wes boasts the same goals to game ratio as (again) Gabriel Jesus, who has scored three goals in nine appearances.
The price tag
It is abundantly clear that the £22m price tag has raised questions about Wes’ goal scoring ability, which is understandable. With transfer fee’s being ridiculously inflated in the modern game, it’s easy to instantly criticise, especially when a player is costing that much – however, with Wes specifically, you’ve got to look past his price tag.
Welsey is a young striker who has scored goals in the Champions League, of course that’s going to come at a cost… It’s clear that there’s potential there, that’s where the value is in Wesley.
People need to cut him some slack, whilst in an ideal world he would have already scored 10 goals, he hasn’t – the there are all of the hallmarks for Wes to be a successful striker in the Premier League, strength, skill, and an eye for goal.
Some of the comments under certain tweets which showed Wesley getting in the box and trying to create a chance actually really worry me. In a world where Villa fans deem Alan Hutton a club “Legend” and praised Glenn Whelan for being the Irish Iniesta, after MUCH worse starts to their Villa careers, Villa fans owe it to Wesley to back him.
The VERY least you can do as a fan is back the players who wear the shirt, these same fans were likely celebrating his goals against Everton, Arsenal and Norwich – which makes the criticism even worse.
Some players just take longer to settle in than others, that’s a fact. Aston Villa now have a capped Brazilian striker at the club, that should be celebrated, not berated. I’ll sleep easy tonight knowing Welsey Moraes played on the same pitch as Leo Messi, and I’m sure Wesley will too. Keep proving the doubters wrong, Wes.
Tweet me your thoughts on Wesley, I’d love to hear them, (especially if they’re positive!), my handle is @danmorgi34. I’d also appreciate it if you checked out our latest podcast: “Wounded in Wolverhampton”, as we’re close to 1600 subscribers on YouTube!