Sporting CP Making Moves


Fabio Coentrao - Sporting

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. 

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How Will Portugal Move Forward?


Fernando Santos with Greece

Photo: Getty Images Europe

With the Seleção’s surprise triumph this summer still fresh in the football world’s mind, Fernando Santos will soon begin preparations to move the team forward. To begin this transition, Portugal will play two games in early September. First, the team will face Gibraltar on September 1st in the first ever meetings between the two nations. Five days later, Switzerland and Portugal will kick off both teams’ 2018 World Cup qualification campaigns. Santos will likely choose a much different squad than what was selected for the European Championship. Post-tournament friendlies are typically used as a means for experimentation and as such typically involve new players, but Santos will have to balance experimentation with results. While the result of the Gibraltar match is inconsequential, Santos will surely be looking to get a win against Switzerland, who are on paper Portugal’s most difficult opponents in their qualification group. Here’s a list of who I would argue deserves to be selected by Santos. Continue reading