A-League: Jair set to add Brazilian flair to Jets front line

INCOMING: Brazilian striker Jair celebrates scoring a goal for Korean club Jeonnam Dragons.
INCOMING: Brazilian striker Jair celebrates scoring a goal for Korean club Jeonnam Dragons.

BOBO delivered a championship to Sydney FC and scored goals at a phenomenal rate.

Middlesbrough legend Juninho brought star billing if not a title to the same club.

The A-League has had a fascination with players from Brazil from day dot.

Indeed, the five-time World Cup-winning nation has been a production line of quality players and the Newcastle Jets are again hoping to tap into a bit of Brazilian flair.

Striker Jair Eduardo Britto da Silva or Jair is set to join the club on a one-year deal.

The 30-year-old arrived in Newcastle on Sunday accompanied by his wife and two daughters and underwent a medical on Monday.

The Jets are in need of strike power, with Roy O’Donovan suspended until round eight and exciting prospect Joe Champness (foot) sidelined until at least January.

On the surface, Jair looks well equipped to provide it.

Although coming off a lean campaign in China, the 186 centimetres front man has been a regular goal-scorer throughout a career that started in the Serie C and B in his homeland and includes stints in Korea, Japan, China and the United Arab Emirates.

Before moving to China, Jair, who speaks English, had two productive seasons in the K-League at Jeonnam Dragons, netting 26 goals in 55 games.

The Jets have been very specific in their search. They wanted a proven goal-scorer to cover and compliment O’Donovan. An experienced player with the versatility and work ethic required to play Ernie Merrick’s up-tempo game plan.

The Wyscout recruitment software enables the Jets to pinpoint the qualities they desire and make an informed assessment.

Still it is not foolproof.

A-League history has shown that possession of a Brazilian passport does not guarantee success.

Merrick’s recruitment of midfield wizard Fred to Melbourne Victory led to a championship in season two. Bobo (Sydney), pint-sized midfielder Henrique (Roar) and Gui Finkler (Victory) have also made telling contributions.

At the other end of the spectrum were Claudinho (Victory), Maycon (Melbourne Heart) and Mario Jardel (Jets).

Jair is one of two Brazilians alongside Henrique in the league this season and the sixth to call Newcastle home.

Jardel, a two time European golden boot-winner, was in the twilight of his career and in poor physical shape when signed by then owner Con Constantine for the 2007-08 campaign. He was a laughing stock and played 339 minutes in 11 cameos without scoring before departing mid-season.

Pint-sized midfielder Denni arrived the same season and played off the bench in the grand-final win over Central Coast.

Central defender Tiago Calvano played 28 games in two seasons from 2011, play-maker the late Bernardo Ribiero struggled to make an impact in the middle of the park in six appearances in 2012-13. Attacking midfielder Leonardo was hampered by a knee injury during his 20 games in 2015-16 which produced one assist.

Jair is not expected to play in a friendly against Sydney FC on Wednesday.

The clash against Western Sydney at Maitland Sportsground on September 29 shapes as a likely debut.

Jair’s addition leaves three places on the roster available, including a second keeper.

Former Victory flyer Mitch Austin has been training with the club and is expected to be offered a deal. 

Wellington Phoenix back-up keeper Lewis Italiano and Bentleigh Greens shot-stopper Ryan Scott trained with the Jets last week. Italiano, who has no other commitments, is continuing to train this week.

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