TALENT SCOUT: William Carvalho (Portugal)
Our final segment in our lowdown of the five hottest prospects taking to the worlds biggest stage in Brazil focuses yet again on another central midfielder. However unlike the players we’ve analysed who apply their trade in the English, Italian and French leagues, our final player resides in the Portuguese League for Sporting Lisbon. His name is William Carvalho.
With such a regal and traditional British first name, it is slightly ironic that such a talented young Portuguese star is repeatedly linked with a move to Manchester United. And whilst it may be ironic, it would be a transfer which is fully deserved. The young midfielders offerings over the 2013/14 season for club side Sporting Lisbon have certainly got people talking and it is these performances which has seen Carvalho fast track into the Portuguese first team, all but cementing his place in the starting XI for Portugal in the World Cup. In coming up against the likes of Ghana and the USA, arguably the weaker sides in Group G, we could really see William exhibit those attributes which have got people talking throughout Europe. And against Germany, his youthful ways and fearless attitude may work like a charm for Portugal and contrast that of the predictable German midfield play we’re so used to seeing between the likes of Schweinsteiger, Lahm and Gotze.
Built in a similar mould to some of Europe’s finest defensive and central midfielders, William is comparable to current young players you may be more aware of, such as Ross Barkley (England) and Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium). And although his inexperience and youth is currently a big part of his game, his no nonsense attitude and discipline mirrors those of a bygone area who have operated centrally for Portugal in previous competitions. This year, Carvalho’s contribution to Portugal’s World Cup effort solely depends on how Portugal manager Paulo Bento decides to shape his midfield with an uncertainty over Cristiano Ronaldo’s fitness playing a major factor in Bento’s decision.
With the likes of Veloso, Moutinho and Meireles more than capable of operating in such a central position, for Bento it’s seemingly a good problem to have with several talented midfielders at his disposal. As for William Carvalho, it could be a case of playing the waiting game and his impact in this summer’s tournament will become clearer as the tournament develops. And although we’re all unsure as to when that day will be, one thing we can be sure of is that when it does come, whether it be due to a change in tactics, an injury to a key first team player or a just reward for a fantastic domestic season at Sporting Lisbon, William will explode onto the scene and take people by surprise.
All things considered, William is definitely one to keep your eye on and for the sake of the those who avidly watch the English Premier League, here’s hoping that he makes the transition sooner rather than later before another league secures his services.