‘Big Phil’ Scolari has wasted no time in bringing Deco to Chelsea and the Portuguese ace looks ready to take the Premier League by storm.
The Brazil-born schemer was deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona and new Blues boss Scolari, having managed Deco with Portugal, quickly landed him for £8million. It might seem a little steep for a midfielder who is 31 next month, but considering his lively showing at Euro 2008 he looks far from a spent force.
Deco will bring a wealth of experience to Chelsea having won the Champions League twice, the UEFA Cup, three domestic titles in Portugal with Porto and two La Liga trophies' with Barcelona.
The attacking midfielder has collected over 50 caps' for Portugal and on more than one occasion he has been the architect of England’s downfall at major competitions.
He is one of the most under-rated players in Europe and it was no surprise to see Scolari snap him up to help give a new dimension to Chelsea’s midfield.
He is not a particular powerful runner, but his ability to see a through' ball in a packed midfield will prove invaluable next season. He will also not be put off by the tough nature of the English top flight and he could prove to be the heartbeat of Chelsea’s midfield with his quick passing and movement a joy to watch.
One criticism of' Deco is that he does not score enough, having managed only 13 goals' in over a century of appearances for' Barcelona. But with a midfield of Michael Ballack annd Frank Lampard there will be no lack of goals and the diminutive star’s brief will be to' create openings for striker Dider Drogba.
He will turn out to be a terrific signing for Chelsea, giving that creative spark' that Roman Abramovich has been craving' and you can bet on Premiership football being more exciting at Stamford Bridge next term.
By Phil Tomlinson