William Carvalho is an Angolan born Portuguese midfielder who currently is enjoying life in his national league with Sporting Lisbon, who currently sit 7 points behind the league leaders Benfica in a healthy second spot. They’ve only lost twice all season and seem to produce some excellent youngsters. Admittedly, I didn’t know any of this until news began to circulate that David Moyes was planning to swoop for the 22 year old the moment the summer transfer window opens.
So why is Moyes interested in buying another midfielder for seemingly ridiculous amount of money? It certainly seems like an odd move. But after some forensic Youtube analysis, I came to the conclusion that this guy might actually be the real deal. He does the basics with a mesmerising amount of ease and doesn’t seem to panic under a severe amount of pressure, which is sadly more than I can say for some of United’s current midfielders. There’s actually a gorgeous moment during Portugal’s world cup qualifier against Sweden where he seems to have lost the ball in a dangerous area to a gang of Sweden players but merely outwits and outmuscles them and sets up a counterattack of his own in about 3 touches, it verges on mind boggling.
There’s absolutely no doubt that this very well built man can play a bit, his tackling isn’t pretty but affective, he actually possesses the rare talent of being able to make tackles whilst retreating from a striker with the ball. His positioning is very well maintained for a 22 year old, it allows him to be in comfortable places for defending but also dangerous for attacking. Although having said that, Carvalho doesn’t appear to be the type of player who wants to get forward very often, which is supposedly a reason why Moyes takes an interest in him. His passing accuracy is generally quite dependable and has the very unique skill of being able to unleash a long pass or a shot with very little backlift. What’s noticeable above all of this is the fact that he is only 22 years of age, meaning he is yet to have fully developed, which is an intriguing prospect.
The question is I suppose is; will he fit into this Manchester United team? With Sporting Lisbon, he plays as a lone defensive midfielder behind a more advanced 3, which is something I’ve thought would suit United but just doesn’t happen. At United, Moyes employs two defensive midfielders. This will be something Carvalho will need to adjust to, but it is something that isn’t alien to him, he seemed to play very fluently alongside Joao Mountinho for Portugal. Theres no doubt that the English league is a lot quicker than the league he’s used to, this is something that he will have to grow in to. He doesn’t run the risk of being immobilised by anyone because he is a colossal human being, you certainly wouldn’t flick him on the ear when he isn’t looking. His measured passing is similar to Carrick (who doesn’t have too many seasons left in him) in the way that he patiently anticipates the right pass. He seems to have that tenacity and eagerness to cut out any shot, pass or cross that comes within a 10 metre radius of him. His defensive game is reminiscent of Phil Jones, only with a bit more poise and regimentation.
So the ‘overhaul’ could begin with this bloke and it doesn’t seem like a bad place to start. I must acknowledge that Youtube doesn’t always tell the truthabout players like this, thousands of clips about Neymar and his incomprehensible ability to ghost past players with silky skill caused everyone to be intensely excited about this man, but he turned out to be more or less inanimate in big games. So all the nice things I’ve said about him may not actually come to fruition, so don’t come after me if he turns out to be the next Djemba-Djemba.