The business end of the domestic season in England is almost upon us and clubs around the country are already planning for life after the end of the season. London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have similar requirements in the transfer market in the summer and this has seen both clubs fighting for one player named Joao Carvalho, a Portuguese starlet who plays for Vitoria FC, on loan from Benfica B. One of the most exciting stars in the domestic circuit in Portugal, Carvalho is wanted by both the clubs in the summer and for the fans who have not heard of him, here is a mini-scout report of the star:
Born and raised in Castanheira de Pera, Portugal, Joao Carvalho joined the academy at Benfica, one of the best in the country at the age of 8. He spent 10 years at the academy, learning the game and made a jump into the Benfica B team in 2015. He cemented a place in the side making 72 appearances before the turn of the year and his performances have seen him earn a loan move to Vitória de Setúbal, a Primeira Liga outfit in Portugal, in January. He has also represented his country at every junior level and is not too far away from a call-up to the national squad.
Strengths, Weaknesses and Style of Play:
Potentially the next big thing from Portugal, Carvalho is a gifted player who has it in him to become the best in Europe. Capable of playing as a central midfielder or in an attacking role, Carvalho is a playmaker who has almost every attribute that makes him a nightmare for defenders. His ability with the ball at his feet along with his creativity makes him a hard player to mark. His mental strength for his age is commendable while the experience he has gathered already makes him a wonderful prospect for even the best clubs in Europe.
The 19-year old is not too happy with a physical approach but he is not one to shy away. He loves to take on his man but is confident in playing short passes to find himself space in behind the defence. He has played as a target man already this season at his current club to decent effect and his versatility might also attract the top clubs in Europe.
At just 19, he has plenty of time to learn but Carvalho, at the moment, is a liability in defence. He is decent with his tacking but is not a player who will track back and cover the yards to add a number at the back. He is not strong in the air either. However, he more than makes up for it with his playmaking abilities. He will be a liability in his first year in the big leagues in Europe.
Where does he fit in?
London clubs Arsenal and Tottenham are both interested in his signature but right now, Spurs would be a better destination for the 19-year old. Pochettino loves to stick with young guns who have potential and Carvalho will fit right into the system at the club. He is not a first team material yet but playing under the Argentine, Carvalho can turn into a world beater in years to come.
Wenger is also known to give chances to youngsters but after a torrid season, it is hard to see the Gunners experiment with newcomers. At his age, he will only become better with more game time and if he decides to move, Carvalho has to make sure that he is given assurances about his position in the first team at the new club.