It is inevitable. Emerging Portuguese talent in Liga NOS really only see one option if they want to blossom into the best player possible: leave Portugal for greener ($$) pastures. It is hard to argue with them; as England, France, Spain, Germany and Italy can offer tougher competition, European glory, extra exposure, and of course, more money. Still, knowing when to go, and where to go, become the ultimate factor in determining your success as a player. As we have seen, some players leave Portugal and become world greats, while others leave Portugal and become forgotten. Let us take a look at five recent Portuguese departures, and how the move has worked for them.
With preseason upon us, many Portuguese teams are already in the thick of squad formation. The transfer window has been open for not even two weeks and already, big moves have been made. Sporting CP, one of Portugal’s “Big Three,” have been active already this window. With his take on the transfer window is guest contributor, Joshua Bunting (Twitter: @Distillerymad).
Jorge Jesus has been busy already this summer strengthening his Sporting Lisbon side. The former Benfica manager has brought in Portuguese defender Fábio Coentrão and Frenchman Jérémy Mathieu. Jesus is clearly focusing on defence first and foremost with the signings and what a signing Coentrão could prove to be on loan from Real Madrid. Coentrão however said in a press conference that he would never play for former club Benfica’s biggest rivals, which led to abuse on his twitter account. However, this is the time now for the left-back to get his place back in the national team and impress Zidane ahead on the 2018-19 season to provide competition for Marcelo. The only doubt with Coentrão is his injury record as he only made 106 appearances for the current Spanish champions however the more concerning stat is that he’s played just 25 times in the last two seasons.
Though the summer transfer window hasn’t officially begun, clubs are already making moves to strengthen their squads ahead of next season. Somewhat unsurprisingly, there have already been a handful of notable moves involving Portuguese players. With the transfer window open in much of Europe until September 1, and with transfer rumors numerous and growing by the day, many more moves can be expected – especially if Portugal performs at the U-21 Euros later this month.
With the transfer window now open, some of the rumors that have filled the news in June have become true. Now more than two weeks into the transfer window, clubs have wasted no time finalizing deals. Here are the most noteworthy transfers thus far this window. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Sporting to Southampton
After days of transfer speculation, Southampton announced today that they had completed a deal for 23 year-old Cédric Soares. As part of the deal, Cédric joins on a four-year deal, with Sporting Lisbon set to receive 6.5 million euros for his services. Cédric has been linked with a move away from the Estádio José Alvalade for some time now, and this move makes sense, as he will join fellow countryman José Fonte. Continue reading
Benfica to Valencia
Valencia CF announced today their definitive purchase of Benfica’s João Cancelo. Cancelo played in Spain all season at Valencia, where he was on loan from the Portuguese giants. As part of the loan deal, Valencia had the option to purchase Cancelo outright for 15 million euros, and though the final price of the deal has not been announced, it is believed to be 15 million.
This deal represents yet another sale of a talented young player for big profit, following in the footsteps of André Gomes and Bernardo Silva. Gomes was at most a bench player at Benfica, but has since thrived at Valencia. Silva had yet to even break into the first team at Benfica, but his 15 million euro move to Monaco has proven a tidy bit of business for the French club, after some increasingly impressive performances. If this deal is to be compared to that of Gomes and Silva, we can expect big things from João Cancelo in the near future.
Of the deal, Cancelo said: “[I am] very happy to continue at Valencia CF, whom I hope to help for a long time to come. I will always carry Benfica in my heart, but now my biggest dream is to continue giving my best for Valencia CF, growing with the team and repaying the great confidence that the club have shown in me.” (Valencia CF) His deal runs until 2021.
Transfers windows haven’t been kind to Benfica recently and there were no exceptions this winter window with the departure of the influential Argentine Enzo Perez, who left the club to join rejuvenated Valencia in Spain for €25 million. The Portuguese League Player of the Year was joined by highly rated Portuguese youngster, Bernardo Silva on the way out of Lisbon as his loan deal with resurrected French side Monaco was made permanent for €15,75 million. On the other hand, there were some additions to the Benfica side, the more notable being Jonathan Rodríguez who joined the Portuguese giants on a two-year loan deal following controversies. Continue reading
Vitória Guimarães to Porto
In the most dramatic deal of yesterday’s transfer deadline day, Porto purchased Vitória Guimarães winger Hernâni for a fee of around 1.3 million euros on a deal that lasts until 2019. As part of the deal, Porto send Otávio, Ivo Rodrigues, and Sami on loan to Guimarães. It seems this deal could be beneficial to both parties, at least in the short term. Vitória lose one of their key players, but receive two exciting talents and one established league performer on loan for the rest of the season, which should lessen the blow of losing Hernâni. Porto, on the other hand, give their players a chance to develop at a team currently pushing for honors this season. Continue reading
Valencia to Hannover 96
It was announced Thursday that Valencia right-back Joao Pereira had completed a free-transfer move to Bundesliga side Hannover 96. Pereira had fallen out of favor under Nuno Espirito Santo at the Spanish club, and had not made a league appearance yet, despite being the undisputed first-choice in the previous two seasons. With departure almost certain this windown, Arsenal had been touted as a possible destination, but Pereira opted for a move to Germany. Pereira’s contract is a short-term, six-month contract. Continue reading