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Liverpool and Arsenal to duke it out over Brazilian starlet

| 07.10.2014

The top sides in the Portuguese Primeira Liga are renowned for their ability to pluck fantastic youngsters from South America, and this summer Benfica seem to have made one of the shrewdest signings in Europe.

Brazilian Anderson Talisca was brought in for just £3m from Bahia, and has promptly made the best start to a Portuguese top-flight season ever by a foreigner.

Talisca has bagged six goals in seven games, with the result that many of Europe’s best sides are taking a look at him including Premier League pair Arsenal and Liverpool.

Both reportedly had scouts at Benfica’s 4-0 win over Arouca, a game in which Talisca scored, following up the two he netted against Estoril in his previous league outing.

The 20-year-old has apparently been on the radar of both Brendan Rodgers and Arsene Wenger all season, with the Arouca match the fourth time scouts from their clubs had been in Portugal to watch him.

Talisca only played 32 times for his previous club Bahia before being snapped up by Benfica, scoring four times for the Brazilian side.

The youngster generally plays as an attacking midfielder or just behind the striker, but it would not be surprising to see Liverpool or Arsenal deploy him in a wider role if he did join one of the English clubs.

The Brazilian has an £18m release clause in his Benfica contract, a sum which will start to look increasingly paltry if his excellent form continues.

However, the Reds might be wary as they are currently having some trouble with their last pricy import from Benfica, as Lazar Markovic has struggled in his first few appearances for Rodgers’ side.

After mixed starts to the campaign, Liverpool are 10/11 and Arsenal 4/9 to snatch a top-four berth in the Premier League this season.

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Alex Fortune