With the January transfer window just more than half over, the deals are beginning to come faster and stronger. There is a lot of movement, mainly from Portuguese players abroad. Let’s take a look at the latest: Continue reading
The transfer window was unusually quiet this winter in Portugal, as it was all around Europe. Despite the lack of activity, some potentially major moves did occur. These players all have the capability to be important players for their new clubs in the near future.
Yannick had been without a club since his failed transfer to French club OGC Nice from Sporting Lisbon. The winger/striker’s skill is undeniable, but his consistency certainly is lacking, as he showed at Sporting. Yannick was reportedly close to a move to Porto and a trial at Aston Villa, but neither moves materialized. Benfica promptly snapped up the forward on deadline day, and he has already made his debut, in the League Cup.
Daniel Fernandes has performed well when given the chance to succeed. When he played in Greece, he was extremely successful. His time more recently in Germany did not go as planned, and a move to Romania looked to increase playing time. Things did not go as planned once again, and after making just two league appearances for Cluj, Twente promptly snapped up the experienced goalkeeper on a free transfer. It may take a lot to dislodge the current Twente goalkeeper, but Daniel Fernandes will work through it, just as he has before.
After his release from Bolton in 2010, Vaz Te looked set for a career in the lower leagues of Greece, Cyprus, or Romania. After two unsuccessful stints in Greece and Scotland, Vaz Te was signed on a free by Barnsley. Not much was expected of the striker, but after ten goals in twenty-two appearances, that all changed. West Ham, who look certain for promotion, promptly snapped up the striker from Barnsley, after Vaz Te had only spent half a season with them. The striker has already made his debut for the club, and looks set for a successful last half of the season with what is a very talented squad.
At the age of just 18, Joao Carlos was called up to Sporting’s first team at the beginning of this season. He trained with the squad throughout the pre-season, but rejoined the Under-19 team, as did many players, once the season was underway. The center midfielder, who has been compared to Deco, was an integral part of the Sporting U-19 team that decimated all opposition in the group stage of the Next-Gen Series. One of his finest performances came when the squad travelled to Liverpool. The midfielder bagged a wonderful goal, and his performance must have caught the eye of Liverpool first-team manager, Kenny Dalglish, who promptly signed him at the next possible opportunity: the January transfer window. Joao Carlos will now join Liverpool’s reserve team, and hope to win a starting spot in Liverpool’s first team in the future.
After multiple seasons of solid performances, Abel Camara finally made the step up from the Liga Orangina to the Liga Zon Sagres. Already a regular for the Belenenses team and the Portuguese Under-21 Team, Abel was a well-established striker in Portugal. Now, he has the opportunity to prove his skills on a bigger stage for Beira-Mar.
Ricardo Vaz Te
Barnsley to West Ham
Barnsley striker Ricardo Vaz Te has signed for West Ham, following an impressive debut season in the English second-tier. The striker has scored 10 goals in 22 games for Barnsley this season, and will hope to continue that good form into the second half of the season with his new team, West Ham. West Ham were relegated last season from the EPL, and their future looked grim. Their future is all but grim currently, as they sit at the summit of the Championship table, and look likely to win promotion back into the topflight. Much of this success is due to their current coach, Sam Allardyce. Big Sam, as he is called, coached Vaz Te when they were at Bolton together, and this partnership surely had much to do with Vaz Te’s move. West Ham have tied the striker down to a two and a half year deal, with an optional extension to three years.
According to reports coming out of England, Barnsley striker Ricardo Vaz Te has rejected the club’s approach of a contract extension. Vaz Te’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season, and due to his recent form, the club is eager to renew it. Perhaps a catalyst for this decision was the striker’s hat-trick against Leeds United on New Years eve. In fact, Vaz te has been performing admirably since joining Barnsley in the summer. The striker has hit the back of the net ten times in nineteen appearances, which is an impressive return.
There are quite a few things happening in regards to Portuguese transfers. Like most transfer periods, there are more rumors than actual deals going through.
1. Ukra Close to Newcastle Switch – Porto-owned, Olhanense starlet, has been a revelation for the Portuguese Liga side this season. Newcastle were close to signing him this January. Their 2 million pound offer was rejected by Porto earlier this season, so they need to up the ante with their bid for the winger.
2. Vaz Te – Bolton to ? – Portuguese striker Ricardo Vaz Te, who hasn’t seen a first-team opportunity in over a season, has decided to rescind his contract with English side Bolton Wanderers. Vaz Te has suffered through questionable fitness throughout the last few seasons, so he is ready to find a fresh challenge.
3. Joao Moutinho Sure to Leave Sporting – Sporting captain Joao Moutinho has recently come out and said that he will surely leave Sporting for a Premier League club. Everton are known to be courting him, and with Nuno Valente the Portuguese scout, the deal will most likely happen.
Carlos Queiroz certainly has to do a double-take after the Portugal U-23 team strolled to a 7-2 thrashing of Wales. Ruben Micael and Yannick had to be withdrawn from the squad due to injury, but their absence was not missed, with Vieirinha filling Ruben Micael’s role admirably.
Portugal opened up the scoring on 14 minutes, when Coentrao crossed for Vitor Gomes, who nodded it in. Just seven minutes later, Coentrao went from hero to villian, as his errant back-pass was picked up by Wales’s Jack Christopher, who finished past Patricio. Soon after, a beautiful piece of Vieirinha opened up for Joao Ribeiro, who easily finished past the Welsh keeper. Just two minutes later, a loose ball fell to Ricardo Vaz te, who rocketed his shot into the bottom left corner beautifully. Portugal finished the half with their heads up, rightfully so with a 3-1 lead.
It took just over ten minutes for the leathal Portugal to find the net again, this time with Paulo Machado. A string of flawless passes set up Joao Ribeiro, who impressively squared the ball to the Toulouse man, who one-touched it in. Once again, Vaz te found the back of the net within just minutes of the previous goal. Some inaccurate passing in the Welsh defense left Vaz te with a open shot, which he took perfectly with his left foot into the bottom right corner. Portugal continued to completely dominate the game, putting away almost all of their chances. Welshman Rob Williams then reduced the gap in the score with his header off of a corner kick. The score was now 5-2 obviously in Portugal’s favor. Ten minutes later, Bruno Gama what is,in mu opinion, the best goal of the match. He latched on to a ball just outside the box, and curled his effort just in. Carlos Saleiro soon after scored the final goal of the match. After evading the defender’s tackles, the Sporting man fired an unstoppable shot past the Welsh keeper, making the final score an impressive 7-2.
Rui Patrício, Miguel Lopes (Sílvio, 70), Vasco Fernandes, Nuno André Coelho, Fábio Coentrão (Emídio Rafael, 30), Pelé, Vítor Gomes (Nuno Coelho, 46), Paulo Machado, Vieirinha, João Ribeiro (Bruno Gama, 61) e Vaz Té (Saleiro, 66).
Here’s the highlights:
Portuguese foreward Ricardo Vaz te has been loaned from Bolton Wanderers to Scottish-side Hamilton Academicals. Vaz te, who has recently been recovering from a lengthy injury, hasn’t played at all this season for the first team. The former Portuguese Under-21 international has failed to make an impact on the first team, and has recently been playing for the Bolton reserves.