22 Midfielder Sporting Portugal
2014 has been...
…and the award for the 2014 IBWM 100 most column inches gained goes to…
Since we began the 100 there is always one player who in the space of 12 months suddenly becomes “the next big thing” for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s merited because you can see early that they have the indefinable quality that makes you realise they are going to make it. Sometimes it’s just because of an over-active agent who is keen to persistently link his client to every club eating at Europe’s top table. Occasionally it’s down to a single club’s obvious and public interest in the player, click-hungry outlets firing out easy “Guess who Club X are still looking at” pieces every few weeks for hits. Where does William fit in with all this? Well a lot from the first, a little from the second and a definite dose of the third. Allow us to explain.
Starting with the footballer, he is both a tremendous prospect for the future and a brilliant player right now. Intelligent, imposing, good on the ball, naturally aggressive (prone to a yellow card at any moment in some games) and with a wonderful range of passing, he is tailor-made for European football’s midfield struggles. He had an excellent season with Sporting last year and was transitioned immediately into the full Portuguese international squad in time to make two appearances at the summer’s World Cup. The hype is immense but here is a case to believe it, and he’s now a vital part of both club and country’s first elevens.
Moving on to the second point, it would be fair to say the amount of transfer stories around Carvalho cannot all be true. If you believe what you read across Europe he has been linked to a transfer this year to (in no particular order) Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton in England, PSG in France, Barcelona, Atletico and Real Madrid in Spain, Bayern and Dortmund in Germany and all of Serie A’s leading lights (the immediate caveat being none of them could realistically afford what offers are allegedly offering). He merits this level of attention but in and amongst there must be some level of fires being stoked.
He is, of course, a client of Gestifute who have no problem moving players as and when they see fit, in some instances regardless of simple things like the club they are contracted to’s resistance. We’ll not comment on his chosen agents conduct, they move within they laws with which they are presented, but we will say this – the key word there is “move”. Carvalho will know he’s with a company who make sure their clients are at and being paid by football clubs appropriate to their skillset. Within that there is always an element of speculation, from top of the client list Cristiano Ronaldo to a certain manager who may or may not reside at Stamford Bridge.
The third point, the distinct and specific links, is very true. England seems a very likely destination and Arsenal and Manchester United are persistently mentioned with a move in the next available transfer window, each and every time one comes around. This is with reason; he fits both the Premier League template and each club’s desperate desire for a defensive midfielder perfectly. Through the noise there seems to be truth in these club’s stated desires to bring him to the club, and with that we’ll move on to what he does next.
The transfer is coming and it’s coming soon. It may be January, if not it will definitely be there in the summer. The move to United or Arsenal is clearly there and he would thrive at either but we hope he takes his time and, dare we say it, ignores anything but what he feels is best for his career. The noise is constant, we hope he can see and hear through it all and make the best move and not the most lucrative.
He is now firmly in the international side and we would lay good money on him achieving 100 caps before his time is done there. He has competition around him but the talent and trust to stay there for the long and foreseeable future. At club level he is of course a key part of Sporting’s fortunes but they will know he’s passing through and be planning accordingly. The transfer fee will be big, the memories fond, but the parting of the ways unavoidable.
How far will William Carvalho go compared to his peers? We think he’ll be one of the best in his position in the world in a couple of years, potential turned to excellence and playing in the first eleven of one of football’s super clubs somewhere. He is made for England but could play anywhere in the world and succeed. Maturity will blunt some of the occasionally misplaced aggression but mark our words this is a young man bound for greatness. Ineligible for next year’s 100 we’ve thoroughly enjoyed the chance to watch him this year, by the time we’re reviewing 2015’s crop William Carvalho will be in a different league - in more ways than one.
“Already a smooth, accomplished, positionally adept, armour-plated rolls-royce of a midfielder. The fact that he picks up so many bookings in Portugal tells you all you need to know - the kid will be playing in the Premier League before too long. Sporting might be in the Champions League, but they won't turn down offers forever” – Ben Shave
"Carvalho has missed just two games for Sporting Lisbon since returning to the club at the start of the 2013/14 season (played 39)." - OptaJoe
B A really, really good prospect who is being talked about like this for a reason, big and inevitable things to come.
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