Though only one has been presented, Porto have announced the capture of three Portuguese, Liga NOS-based players. Maritimo’s Danilo Pereira, Vitória Guimarães’ André André, and Paços Ferreira’s Sérgio Oliveira have all sealed moves to the Estádio do Dragão for the 2015/2016 season. Porto are strengthening heavily before the start of the season, with these three part of five transfers so far this offseason. And new players are exactly what they need, with last season’s starters Danilo, Casemiro, Óliver Torres, and Jackson Martinez having left.
Danilo Pereira joined Marítimo on a free transfer at the beginning of the 2013/2014 season, and has excelled ever since. This season in particular, Danilo’s performances caught the eye of the big clubs in Portugal, with both Sporting and Benfica touted to have been interested in him at some point or another. His performances also caught the eye of Portugal boss Fernando Santos, who handed Danilo his debut in a March friendly against Cape Verde. And just three months later, Danilo earned his first start for the Seleção, in the team’s narrow 1-0 victory against Italy.
André André joined Vitória Guimarães in 2012 from Varzim, immediately establishing himself as a starter for the team. But it was this season that André was thrust into the spotlight. Few could have predicted how positive Vitória’s season would turn out to be, and André André was at the heart of the team’s success. By the end of the season, Vitória had qualified for the Europa League, and André had sealed a move to Liga giants Porto.
Sérgio Oliveira left Porto ahead of the 2013/2014 season and signed for Paços Ferreira on a co-ownership deal, which saw both teams retain a portion of his rights. At Paços, Sérgio immediately established himself as an important starter, but like André, it wasn’t until this season that he really stepped into the spotlight. Sérgio thrived in a more withdrawn position at Paços, which was significantly more defensive than his original attacking-midfield position. Sérgio’s solid season was enough for Porto to pull the strings to return him to the Dragão, and it’s a good thing. After his performance at the U-21 Euro, other clubs have come knocking, like Tottenham and Manchester City.