Coming from one of the biggest epicentres in world football, Jair Gonçalves da Silva entered Portuguese football through the door of district football and stayed there for about four years. The rise to the next level took place, and the arrival at UD Leiria ended up putting him in one of the good showcases of Portuguese football, Liga 3, a competition where the Brazilian striker would end up shining until being elected the best player last season.
In positional terms, Jair can play in all three positions of the attack, and this becomes noticeable in his game by the way he can present so many skills and attributes during the game. He is a player who, by understanding how the attack works, ends up being quite complete. Lately, the Brazilian has been playing as a striker in Vasco Botelho da Costa’s 3x4x3, giving him a lot of mobility to appear in any of the corridors.
Physically, the União Desportiva de Leiria player is of medium height and morphologically mesomorphic. His speed of movement is very good, especially because he can master the time to accelerate and decelerate to overcome opponents in individual duels – in those moments, he also stands out for his agility. In addition, his speed of execution is also a point to be considered.
In attacking moments, Jair is a treat for any fan, a player who, although he tries to excel in passing to tabulate and attack the space ahead, ends up making a bigger difference through dribbling and, since he has been playing as an attacking reference lately, this attribute is revealed when it comes to finalising. In other words, when Jair is in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper, he always tries to evade the opposing keeper to finish unopposed – it is also at the moment of the finish where he demonstrates an easy shot that reveals that he knows how to hide the ball until the last moment. In terms of movement, the UD Leiria striker is very mobile, either receiving the ball at the foot as forward support or attacking the back of the defensive line. In this second moment, it is noteworthy the way the player lives in the limbo of the offside trap to, after the initial acceleration, leave the opposing defenders behind with ease. Still, on the offensive side of the player, it is worth highlighting his ambidexterity in any of the actions he can perform in the game and his ability to propel – despite his average height, he can finish with his head with relative ease whenever he appears from behind, especially in set pieces.
In defensive moments, Vasco Botelho da Costa’s 3x4x3 has been characterised by the imposition of a medium block. As such, Jair is not forced to constantly press high, but rather to close interior lines through defensive movements from the outside in. Defensively, the highlight goes to his intelligence in closing the central corridor and the way he reacts to loss and runs back – he does not succumb to this type of defensive task and goes all the way to recover the ball.
Jair da Silva’s future will be like his past when it comes to burning stages. He is predestined to reach the top echelons of football, and all that remains to be seen is when that will happen. Young Brazilian has the potential to reach that level, and he has a good dose of performance to go with it. It would not be surprising to see him leave Leiria this season. Nor would it be surprising to see him arrive at a level like Vitória Sport Clube, a club that, in the last two seasons, went to the Portuguese second tier to sign two of the best players who have passed through there – Jota Silva and Telmo Arcanjo.