Aston Villa's Club Record Signing Wesley Moraes Has An Inspirational Story
Aston Villa's club-record signing Wesley Moraes has overcome all sorts of adversity to seal his dream move to the Premier League for a fee of £22 million.
The 22-year old Brazilian was born with one leg that is almost three centimetres shorter than the other and yet here he is in 2019 preparing for his debut season in the most-watched league in the world.
In addition that, he lost his father to a brain tumour when he was just nine years of age and by the time he was 16 he had two kids to two different women.
At the same age, he juggled trying to further himself in football with trials while working a job in a factory making screws - eventually getting a three-month trial with Atletico Madrid.
He starred at a youth tournament for the Los Rojiblancos and also spent time with AS Nancy and Evian in France but to no avail.
But he had caught the eye of Slovakian outfit AS Trencin after they looked at compilations of him in action and they signed him following a successful trial period.
He stayed for just under year, scoring eight goals in 22 games before moving onto pastures new with Club Brugge in Belgium.
His unusual situation meant they had to do their due diligence but ultimately felt it was the right call to bring him in.
"We had a very clear screening of the player before signing him," manger Dévy Rigaux told Stuart James of The Guardian.
"There was a long conversation with a psychologist on one side and with us, the people of the club, on the other side, on the social aspects.
"We felt during these conversations that he was a boy with a very good heart, with really good values in life, which were necessary in our environment to become the right football player.
"If you lose first of all the father at an early age, and you become yourself a father when you are still a kid, at 15, it has an impact. His children stayed in Brazil, so that was quite difficult for him. We had to build a relationship with him where, bit by bit, you start to talk more about the family."
If it was a risk drafting him in then it was an extremely effective one as Wesley excelled, notching 35 goals in 117 games, including 14 in all competitions.
His fine form alerted Villa and they paid their highest ever transfer fee to secure his signature this summer as they head back to the big-time.
He's already looked promising in pre-season, teeing up Scott Hogan with a brilliant assist Shrewsbury on Sunday.
After overcoming so much adversity in his life, we're really rooting for Wesley and hope he settles in the Premier League right away.