PSV Eindhoven’s pint-sized Brazilian playmaker Mauro Junior will be looking to build on an impressive debut campaign in the Netherlands.

  • By Chaka Simbeye
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The Sao Paulo native with the slight build has always played well ahead of his age group, as in Brazil he regularly played with the U20s at club level despite being the tender age of 15.

Junior signed for PSV from Deportivo Brasil last summer at the age of 18, after spending some time playing friendlies with Jong PSV on a trial basis. The Brazilian became the first player from his country to score on their debut since Ronaldo against VVV Venlo last year as he gained more game time than expected in Phillip Cocu’s final title-winning season at PSV.

The 19-year-old made 17 first-team appearances for the club last season, scoring once and providing one assist. He is also set to be a key member under Mark van Bommel, appearing from the bench during the Dutch super cup match against Feyenoord.

Playing Style 

Although, Mauro Junior made his debut for PSV as a winger for an underperforming Steven Bergwijn against VVV, there is no doubt that his future will probably lie as a number 10 in midfield. During the match, Jurgen Locadia played the perfect cross to Luuk De Jong from the opposite flank for the Dutch striker to have it saved but the young Brazilian was on hand to tap in the rebound and get his PSV career of to a great start. He made his home debut the next week and as he came on for Locadia at home to Heracles. Jorrit Hendrix crossed for the youngster who headed the cross back into the path of Marco Van Ginkel to score. In the reverse fixture, he started in midfield as he was constantly showing for the ball in the pockets and making runs past De Jong. He then was the most impressive player in a match away to Roda JC after PSV secured the title and Cocu decided to play his youngsters like Sam Lammers and Pablo Rosario.

He was sharp and intuitive in the pockets, as his ability to receive the ball with his back to goal, turn and launch quick breaks proved difficult for the opposition to handle. He once received the ball on the break by the halfway line, cut past two players and drove to the top of the box to blast over. He has also impressed in pre-season under Van Bommel as against Galatasaray he won possession of the ball in the pressing phase, pushed forward, turned and set-up Cody Gakpo who scored with a strike from range. In a cameo that lasted under 15 minutes, he managed to create three chances and one assist.

What to expect from Mauro Junior this season

Mauro Junior will spend this season in between PSV and Jong PSV as in Van Bommel’s 4-3-2-1 formation where PSV will use an attacking midfielder, Bart Ramselaar and he could find themselves backing up Gaston Pereiro.

The young Brazilian was a revelation under Cocu last season and he will look to continue his development now that van Bommel is in charge. He is likely to be an impact player from the bench at the start of the campaign, but with Gaston Pereiro’s form unpredictable, don’t bet against Junior breaking into the starting eleven at some point in the campaign.

PSV have a wonderful reputation with Brazilians, with Ronaldo, Romario and Alex all starring at the Philips Stadion. Mauro Junior is the next samba star aiming to make a name for himself in Eindhoven.

Chaka Simbeye (69 Posts)