Léo Duarte completed medicals and signed a contract to switch from Clube de Regatos do Flamengo to Serie A side AC Milan on Thursday, according to Milan News.
The transfer is worth €10 million plus €1 million in bonuses to Flamengo for the 23-year-old defender.
Serginho Served As Intermediary
Former Milan left-back, Serginho, actually served as an intermediary in the deal for Duarte. As a former teammate of Milan directors Paolo Maldini and Zvonimir Boban, he was an excellent choice in advocating for his fellow Brazilian's move to his former club.
Serginho was also at Milan's headquarters when Duarte signed his contract.
The Next Thiago Silva?
In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Serginho spoke of Duarte: "He is aggressive, explosive, physical and technical. We Brazilians are more instinct, but he already has a sense of tactics and position."
Serginho spoke of Duarte's experience. Despite being so young, he has made 49 first-team appearances for Flamengo. He was also asked in the same interview if Duarte is the next Thiago Silva, to which he replied: "I hope so."
Some have labelled Duarte's playing style as a little "mean," and noted that this is something that is missing from Mian's current defence. However, his abilities on set pieces and his dribbling capabilities are skills that are perhaps needed even more at Milan right now.
A Very Young Defence
Having just turned 23, Duarte is considered very young for a centre back, however, he is in good company in Milan. His fellow centre backs, Alessio Romagnoli and Mattia Caldara are 24 and 25 years old respectively. If youth player Matteo Gabbia stays with the first team, he is actually only 19 years of age.
In fact, considering all of the full-backs and centre backs currently playing with Milan, the average age of all of the defenders is just 24.5 years of age. So Duarte is a purchase not only for now but also for the future of Milan.