Followers of the Portuguese game are well aware that the country is on the cusp of another “Golden Generation” of football. The last Golden Generation produced players like Rui Costa and Luis Figo, so the very thought of another generation anywhere close to as talented as the last one is encouraging. The reason for the excitement is a number of extremely talented players, already with considerable playing time under their belts in some of Europe’s top leagues. Players like João Mario, William Carvalho, Bernardo Silva, and André Gomes are some of the more well-known names, thanks to impressive performances this season. One player who hasn’t truly gained as much recognition (until recently) is João Carlos Teixeira. Teixeira played for Brighton Hove & Albion this season, on loan from English Premier League giants Liverpool. Despite some impressive, if inconsistent, performances, Teixeira hasn’t garnered much media or fan attention since playing in the English second tier with Brighton. His performances, as I have alluded to, deserve more recognition.
Newly appointed Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has made sweeping changes at the club since his arrival. Always in favor of the youth, Rodgers has introduced a handful of Liverpool’s brightest talents into the first team. Raheem Sterling, who, even at age 17, has already earned a senior England call, and Suso, who started and impressed in Liverpool’s last game, are already making the move to Liverpool’s first team. Not only that, but they’re becoming important players for the team. This situation highlights Brendan Rodger’s youth policy. He has given chances to many youth players since arriving in the summer, and one may wonder: who’s next?
One of the main contenders to make the move to the Liverpool first team is Joao Carlos. Carlos played a central role in Sporting Lisbon’s run to the quarterfinals of last season’s NextGen Series, a sort-of U-19 Champions League. Along the way, Sporting demolished Liverpool twice, first 3-0, then 5-1. The midfielder was instrumental in both wins, most notably scoring the opening goal in the 3-0 victory. These performances, along with others throughout the team’s NextGen campaign, earned him a move to Liverpool in the winter transfer window. Since then, he has been training with the reserve team, along with the likes of Suso, Raheem Sterling, and Andre Wisdom, all of whom are playing in the first team. Now, some are wondering if Joao Carlos will be the next to roll out on the seemingly never-ending conveyor belt of young talent.