André Carrillo 21 Midfielder Sporting CP
Of Europe's most creative and threatening pairings, Sporting's wide men don't necessarily rank highly on the lists of pundits. Diego Capel is the main creative contributor in Sporting's attack, and when he prowls the left wing it is the Spaniard who is the conduit for more or less every incisive move. But the man incessantly and aggressively attacking the far post in an effort to meet Capel's crosses from the left is having an increasing influence on the right, and when the two switch Sporting enjoy a new dimension altogether.
André Carrillo is a 21-year-old Peruvian with an arsenal so full of weaponry that the United Nations have been preparing a resolution on Porto's behalf. When he's on the right and Capel is on the left, Capel is part of a more expansive approach while Carrillo steers a closer, more intricate game. In truth he's equally comfortable in either situation (or drifting inside to play off Ricky van Wolfswinkel) and Sporting will reap the benefits by confusing opposing defences as Carrillo grows.
In full flow, it's clear that he has the makings of a very dangerous, enormously incisive player, bearing more than a little resemblance to other wingers to graduate from Sporting in the past. His most immediately noticeable quality is his pace, which at times allows him to drift past opponents while they helplessly founder in his wake.
But he wouldn't be a Sporting winger without a couple of party tricks, and they're based, predictably, on playing at speed. On the relatively rare occasions on which Carrillo attacks centrally, he links up with team-mates with successive wall passes that ruthlessly take opponents out of the game at a stroke. But the real beauty of Carrillo is in his change of pace around the edge of the penalty area and his willingness to use it to humiliating and devastating effect, slowing to almost a standing start before ripping past his man like he's not there.
Carrillo is raw, which is understandable at his age and after the relatively short time he's spent in Europe so far. He can drift out of matches, spending periods as a comparative spectator. There are small mistakes that sometimes show up in his touch and his decisions. He has some way to go to become anything like the finished article, but in the flashes of his best he's a player who can get supporters on their feet.
His Peru debut and transfer from Alianza Lima to Sporting came in 2011, and Carrillo hasn't looked back in 2012. On top of his first international goal, 46 appearances in all competitions last season, including 13 as Sporting reached the last four in the UEFA Europa League, brought with them a return of just three goals - surprising, given Carrillo's propensity to pull the trigger, but certainly indicative of an area to improve - but a contribution of nine assists offers a better representation of his ability to be a threat in the Sporting attack. If Capel is Sporting's attacking consistency, Carrillo is potentially their excitement.
With his goals in the early part of this season coming in Europe, Sporting's flickering league form (which has already forced a coaching change this season) is perhaps a reflection of Carrillo's status as a talented but raw player in a position where - when he starts matches or is introduced as a substitute - he simply must have an impact in order for his team to succeed over the course of a season.
"Comparisons to Nani, such as those that appeared in Portugal's press last season, are somewhat premature. But if Carrillo can hold down a first team spot, there are few trickier wide man in the Liga." - Ben Shave (PortuGOAL)
C+ On the right track for club and country