European clubs have been increasingly snatching up South American players over the past few seasons.
This summer, some of the most expensive player transfers involved South American footballers: James Rodriguez to Real Madrid (£63.2m), Luis Suarez to Barcelona (£65m) and Angel Di Maria to Manchester United (£59.7m).
Players from this region are typically suited for a free-flowing, attacking style of play and possess a technical ability – or natural flair – on the ball. They also play with an energy and passion that is a joy to watch for the average fan of the sport.
This season, similar to ones of the past, Premier League clubs have benefited from the influx of foreign players who originate from this part of the world. The speed and power of the English top flight, as well as the enthusiasm of league supporters, have made it a perfect fit for South American players.
The star names at the big clubs are well-known: Falcao, Di Maria, Alexis Sanchez and Diego Costa are all on top of most lists.
But it’s the transfer moves of teams outside of the Premier League’s ‘usual’ top four contenders that have really shaped the early part of this new season.
Those who watched Leicester City come back twice from a two-goal deficit to defeat Manchester United today saw the quality of the club’s two standout summer arrivals from Argentina, Esteban Cambiasso and record-signing Leonardo Ulloa.
If it weren’t for Jamie Vardy’s man-of-the-match performance, Cambiasso may have stolen the honor in his full debut with the club. The midfielder scored a goal and terrorized United until he was substituted for in the 71st minute.
While Ulloa scored a brace against Louis van Gaal’s side and has been Leicester’s top scorer with five goals during its opening five matches – which have seen the club also defeat Stoke City and draw matches with both Arsenal and Everton.
Last Monday, Hull City and West Ham United introduced supporters to their club’s newest South American signings.
The Hammers unveiled Ecuadorian forward Enner Valencia, who was coming off of a solid World Cup performance in Brazil. The 25-year-old didn’t waste any time showing the club that he was worth every bit of his £12m fee, as he blasted a stunning strike into the top right corner of the net from beyond 18-yards to level the match.
This summer, West Ham also acquired the services of Argentinian Mauro Zarate from Velez in Argentina’s Primera Division.