Tottenham target Leandro Damiao is next up in Born Offside’s Rising Stars feature…

Damiao is one of the most exciting young strikers in South America and has recently broken in the Brazil squad. He was in sparkling form as Internacional stormed to the Copa Libertadores title, netting the winner in the final.

“Leandro Damaio belongs to a rare family of strikers that are hard to find in Brazilian football. You need someone with his strength and penalty area presence.”

That form has alerted a host of European clubs including Tottenham who have been credited with a £12million offer for the tall hitman. And Internacional coach Paulo Roberto Falcao admits he will be powerless to stop his star striker leaving. He said: “His departure is inevitable. But we hope to keep him for as much time as possible.”

Amazing when you consider that aged 17 Damaio was a gangly midfielder struggling to earn a professional contract but a switch in position earned Damiao a deal at Atletico Ibirama.

After just two years at Atletico Damiao was snapped up by one of Brazil’s biggest clubs Internacional. His first International cap came against Scotland at the Emirates Stadium in March.

Before the game, Brazil coach Mario Menezes said: “Leandro Damaio belongs to a rare family of strikers that are hard to find in Brazilian football. You need someone with his strength and penalty area presence.”

The tall forward is not just a target man, he is quick, skillful and deadly in front of goal. His style would definitively suit the Premier League if Spurs are willing to take the plunge, if not he may end up at Barcelona or Juventus.

He is expected to lead the line for Brazil at the Copa America and will play a big role at the 2014 World Cup.

He’s the new: Dimitar Berbatov

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