Wilson Eduardo Off to Croatia


Wilson Eduardo - Sporting

Wilson Eduardo

Sporting to Dinamo Zagreb (loan)

Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb announced today the capture of Sporting winger Wilson Eduardo on loan for the entire season, further adding to an already sizable Portuguese contingent at the club. Eduardo, whose brother Joao Mario will be on Sporting’s first team this season, will join on loan for the entire season, and can be purchased at any time by Dinamo. Eduardo will join fellow countrymen Eduardo, Paulo Machado, Ivo Pinto, Goncalo Santos, and Ruben Lima at the Balkan club, and will hope to gain more playing time than if he was at Sporting.

Always considered a prospect for the future, many will feel that Wilson Eduardo hasn’t really fulfilled his potential, though many will agree that he is still a handy player for most teams. After a prolific spell in Sporting’s youth teams, Eduardo was loaned to various teams in Portugal for the next four seasons. He found varied levels of success with top-flight clubs such as Academica and Olhanense, and as a result of these solid performances, he was recalled to a new-look Sporting side last season. Despite largely playing a bit-part role in the club’s success, Eduardo still managed 20 appearances and three goals. This season, Eduardo has been deemed surplus to requirements, most likely because of the emergence of Carlos Mane, who is much younger and has more room for growth. Now, Wilson Eduardo will fly away to Croatia, and who knows? Maybe this loan is exactly what he needs.

Ones to Watch – Liga Zon Sagres 2013/2014


Portugal’s Liga Zon Sagres has formed a reputation for being one of the best formative leagues in Europe. With a seemingly endless conveyer-belt of talent flowing out of the league, it is no wonder that so many young players choose Portugal over other countries. Players such as David Luiz, Fabio Coentrao, Di Maria, Joao Moutinho, Hulk, and Falcao (among others) have all spent their formative years in the Iberian country, only to make multi-million euro moves abroad to some of the finest teams in the world.

This season, there are many young Portuguese talents who will be hoping to emulate the likes of Coentrao and Joao Moutinho; with hopes to earn a big move abroad; with hopes to be noticed by Paulo Bento and be selected for the national team. Regardless, there is much hope, both for the players and the spectators. At the root of all of this is a single hope: that Portuguese football may grow.

In this segment, Portugal Football is highlighting 25 under-22 Portuguese players from across the Liga Zon Sagres. These players are certainly players to watch for. Some are already proven players, while some are yet to showcase their talents on the big stage. So, without further ado, the ones to watch.

Academica

Anibal Capela - Academica

NAME 

AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
 Anibal Capela  22  Center Defense  29

Belenenses

Tiago Silva - Belenenses

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Tiago Silva  20  Attacking Midfield  46

Benfica

Andre Almeida - Benfica

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Andre Almeida  22  Midfield/Wingback  40

Andre Gomes

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Andre Gomes  20  Center Midfield  27

 

Braga

Luis Silva - Braga 2013-2014 preseason

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Luis Silva  20  Center Midfield  44

Rafa - Braga 2013-2014 preseason

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Rafa  20  Attacking Midfield  47

Salvador Agra - Braga

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Salvador Agra  21  Winger  23

Estoril

Leandro - Estoril

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Leandro  21  Forward  36

Gil Vicente

Luis Martins - Gil Vicente

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Luis Martins  21  Left-Back  33

Maritimo

Danilo Pereira - Maritimo

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Danilo Pereira  21  Defensive Midfield  31

Nacional

Miguel Rodrigues - Nacional

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Miguel Rodrigues  20  Center Defense  19

Jota - Nacional

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Jota  20  Midfield  20

Olhanense

Pele - Olhanense

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Pele  21  Defensive Midfield  5

Pacos Ferreira

Sergio Oliveira - Pacos Ferreira

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Sergio Oliveira  21  Midfield  36

Porto

Tiago Rodrigues - Porto

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Tiago Rodrigues  21  Midfield  42

Ricardo - Porto

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Ricardo  19  Winger  37

Rio Ave

Luis Gustavo - Rio Ave

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Luis Gustavo  20  Midfield  24

Roderick - Rio Ave

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Roderick Miranda  22  Center Defense  16

Sporting

Tiago Ilori - Sporting

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Tiago Ilori  20  Center Defense  32

Cedric - Sporting

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Cedric  21  Right-Back  25

Vitoria Guimaraes

Paulo Oliveira - Vitoria Guimaraes

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Paulo Oliveira  21  Center Defense  43

Ricardo Gomes - Vitoria Guimaraes

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Ricardo Gomes  21  Forward  31

Cafu - Vitoria Guimaraes

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Cafu  20  Winger  23

Vitoria Setubal

Ricardo Horta - Vitoria Setubal

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Ricardo Horta  18  Forward  16

Miguel Lourenco - Vitoria Setubal

NAME  AGE  POSITION  2012-2013 APPS 
Miguel Lourenco  21  Center Defense  22

Agra Loaned to Siena


Salvador Agra - Portugal vs Albania - U-21

Salvador Agra

Real Betis to Siena (loan)

Real Betis have decided to loan out Salvador Agra to Serie A side Siena until the end of the season. Currently in last position in the Serie A, Siena are looking for reinforcements to help with the relegation battle. Real Betis, on the other hand, is flying high in La Liga, and is looking to consolidate their squad. Agra moved to Betis this past summer, after impressive performances for the Portuguese Under-21 team and for Olhanense. He has found playing time relatively plentiful, but has not quite adapted to the league. Now, he will join up with fellow countryman Luis Neto, who he played with in his earlier days at Varzim, and attempt to battle away for Siena.

Salvador Agra Signs for Betis


Salvador Agra

Olhanense to Real Betis (end of season)

It is finally official. Olhanense winger Salvador Agra has signed for La Liga side Real Betis. There had been speculation as to whether or not the deal had actually gone through, but all doubts were vanquished whan the Olhanense president confirmed the transfer. Agra won’t meet up with his new teammates just yet, however. The winger is poised to finish the season with the Portuguese club. Real Betis grabbed the winger for a fee of 200,000 euros, and Olhanense still hold 10% of his rights.

Opinion: How B Teams will Affect Portuguese Football


The Liga Zon Sagres high-ups announced that, starting next season, Benfica, Porto, Sporting, Braga, Maritimo, and Vitoria Guimaraes will all have the ability to add their B teams into the Liga Orangina, which is the Portuguese second-tier. Existing teams in the Liga Orangina won’t be booted out, but the league will grow by six teams. This bit of news comes as a surprise at this time, as B teams have not been fully utilized in recent years in Portugal. Now, however, the six largest teams in Portugal (at least by the federation’s standards) will have the option of sending their players down a division, instead of sending them out on loan. This is an obvious advantage, but there are some less obvious disadvantages.

During the past few years, the smaller clubs playing in the Liga Zon Sagres have benefited from taking players from the big three on loan. One of the more recent and relevant examples is Adrien Silva. The midfielder didn’t quite have what it took at Sporting Lisbon, so he was loaned out to Academica for this entire season. He has since flourished at the mid-table club. Next season, he will almost certainly be a part of the first team at Sporting, courtesy of his fine performances and overall development while at Academica. Without these players, the “smaller” clubs in the league would suffer. With the inclusion of the B teams in the Liga Orangina, the top clubs won’t necessarily be looking for Liga Zon Sagres clubs interested in loaning a player not developed enough for first-team action. They can simply keep him in the squad, and let him develop at the B team, without the hassle of loaning him to another Liga Zon Sagres club. Also, with the big clubs not having to babysit the fringe players by looking for loan moves for them, the big clubs can grow in size. These clubs now won’t have to be concerned with the size of their team, as they can send these players down to the B team to gain experience and ready them for first team action. This may cause a total split between these six clubs and the remaining clubs in Portugal. Many would argue that there is already a split, and if the B teams were to be added to the Liga Orangina, the big clubs would get bigger, and the small clubs would get smaller.

Its not all bad, however. In terms of nurturing Portuguese talent, the inclusions of the B teams will be beneficial. Instead of sending a player out on loan, the club can now send the player down a division and have him play for the B team. The player can still train with the first team, which may prove to be quite valuable to his development, while still getting in minutes with the B team. In other words, youngsters coming out of the youth academies now have a viable option for playing time. Instead of looking abroad for opportunities, the youngsters can continue to develop at the B team. Also, who’s to say that the smaller Liga Zon Sagres clubs won’t still get players on loan from the big clubs? If a player is developed enough for the first team at, let’s say, SL Benfica, but he doesn’t quite fit in to the formation, or doesn’t yet gel with his teammates, Benfica will search for a Liga Zon Sagres club to loan him to. Some players are simply too skilled and experienced for the Liga Orangina. Because of this, loans will still be made to clubs like Academica and Olhanense, and football in Portugal, at least in this sense, won’t be affected for the worse.

The inclusion of B teams into the Liga Orangina for Benfica, Porto, Sporting, Maritimo, Braga, and Vitoria Guimaraes may turn into a great move. It also may not. There is no way of knowing how this decision will affect football in Portugal next season, but one thing is for certain: it will make it more interesting.

Agra Passes Medical at Betis


Salvador Agra

Olhanense to Real Betis (almost)

Olhanense winger Salvador Agra has reportedly passed a medical ahead of a move to La Liga side Real Betis. Betis had been interested in the player, and had had two bids rejected. Now, however, the Spanish club has had an offer accepted. The amount of the transfer remains unclear. One outlet reports 200,000 euros, while another reports 500,000. It also remains unclear whether or not the U-21 international will join Betis immediately, or remain at Olhanense for the rest of the season. Regardless, Salvador Agra has passed his medical and is excruciatingly close to completing a move to Real Betis.

Transfer Rumors – 1/9/12


There almost always seems to be more rumors during the transfer window than actual deals. This season has not been an exception, and with the rumors flying in, here are some of the more notable ones.

Salvador Agra

Olhanense to Real Betis?

Salvador Agra has been nothing short of a revelation for Olhanense this season. The winger, who can also be deployed as a striker, joined Olhanense from Varzim at the beginning of the season. Not much was expected of him, at least not as much as he as shown. Though he has only scored once thus far this season, he has proved himself as a vital piece of the team through his lively and smart play. Other clubs have not ignored this. Real Betis look to be front-runners for his signature. Osasuna and Koln have all said to be interested recently, and Betis even had an offer rejected. Olhanense has stated that they do not plan to sell the winger, regardless of the price.

Varela

Porto to Roma?

Another winger that may be on his way out of Portugal is Silvestre Varela. Varela was in spectacular form last season, and was one of the reasons that Porto were as successful as they were. This season, under new coach Vitor Pereira, Varela has found playing time much too hard to come by. The arrival of Djalma from Maritimo in the off season has reduced his playing time further, and talk of winger Yannick Djalo joining the club may just be the last straw. Varela is fed up with sitting on the sidelines, which will undoubtedly hinder his chances of making the Portuguese squad for Euro 2012. Roma’s ears have perked up at all of this talk. The Italian giants are said to have made Varela their number one target.

Castro Loaned to Gijon…Again


Andre Castro will ply his trade in La Liga next season, after Porto agreed to loan him to Sporting Gijon, once again. Castro, who was called up by Portugal manager Paulo Bento for last week’s game, played the last half of last season with Gijon. At the Spanish club last season, Castro made a name for himself, not only in Spain, but also in Portugal. Before his loan, it was undecided whether he would make the grade at Porto, but there were few doubters upon his return. In his impressive eleven starts, he scored twice and helped his team immensely. With the impending arrival of Belgian international Steven Defour at Porto, Castro has decided to leave in search for playing time. Defour was once a serious target for Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, so the Belgian would definitely be picked over Castro at Porto. Many Porto fans are hoping to see Castro reproduce the form last season that saw him earn a call to the Portuguese National Team so that he can return in the future and set the Liga Zon Sagres alight.

Castro Loaned to Sporting Gijon


Porto’s 22 year-old midfielder, Andre Castro, has completed his loan move to Liga BBVA strugglers, Sporting Gijon. Castro has found playing time hard to come by at the Estadio Dragao. Castro played the past few seasons at Olhanense, and his performances were impressive enough to earn a call-up to the Porto first-team this season. He has since made most of his appearances from the bench. In order to get more playing time, Castro has left for La Liga relegation battlers Sporting Gijon on loan for the remainder of the season, without an option to buy. At the beginning of the loan negotiations, there was an option to buy, but I suppose Andre Vilas Boas has wised-up and decided that Andre Castro could be an asset to the team in the future.

Castro to Decide his Future


Porto’s young midfielder, Andre Castro, is currently considering his options after opportunities at F.C. Porto have become few. Castro, who is a regular for the Portuguese Under-21 team, spent the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons on loan at Olhanense. His performances were impressive enough to earn him a stay at Porto this season, but the midfielder has found his options limited. Castro is now considering moving away from the Dragao, with Sporting Gijon his most likely destination. If the move happens, it will be a loan.