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West Brom Sends Tremors Across Europe With A Groundbreaking Deal For Euro 16 Winner – Is He Worth The Fuss?

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Sporting's midfielder William Silva de Carvalho (L) vies with Benfica's Brazilian forward Jonas Oliveira during the Portuguese league football match Sporting CP vs SL Benfica at Alvalade stadium on February 8, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA (Photo credit should read PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s Tuesday and it’s a work day, and you’re in your snug little cubicle exhibiting signs of bipolar disorder as you carelessly maximise and minimise your twitter feeds and news alerts. The more you sift through, the more unstable your mind gets – with all sorts of conflicting reports coming at you, left right and centre. But none more so than if you’re a West Brom fan, perhaps. We at The 4th Official will not profess to know either way where the wind shall blow – but for sure, we’ll do our bit to inform you, dear reader, of the virtues of the players that will be linked with you. So, here’s our analysis of European Champion, 24-year-old, Sporting Lisbon stalwart, William Carvalho – a player who is a subject of a shock West Brom bid earlier this evening. West Brom, who might be on course for a deal in excess of £21m which was rejected, breaking their club record two times in the last 24 hours, after the Baggies bagged Nacer Chadli from Tottenham.

On Demand

Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Juventus, Chelsea, and the whole host of European elites have been left astounded by West Brom’s cheeky move for William Carvalho. Coming into the spotlight from absolute obscurity, Carvalho’s trajectory has seen no downward slope, since 2013/14 – making him one of the hottest properties in Europe.

Tower of Strength

14 stones and 6’1”, is the area displaced by William Carvalho if he was in a bathtub.If he’s on the pitch, however, the area he covers is exponentially larger. He’s a complete boss in midfield, owing, yes, to his physical stature, but also his anticipatory plays, stepping up and dispossessing opponents before they have a whiff of an opportunity, with a near-perfect reading of the game. His composure in the tackle is also quite impressive considering the momentum he’d generate – almost as if he decelerates when he stretches out his periscopic legs, attaining a level of accuracy generally unseen big the big and burly in football. The lad, William’s most telling trait is that he imbues a calm aura in his play, making him stand-out in pressure-cooker situations, and invariably, the best player on the pitch when others tire of exertion, or wilt under the spotlight.

His body work is also a joy to be seen, making use of his wide frame to turn the opponent and make a defensive situation into an attacking one with his long strides and drive at full pelt.

Weaknesses

The boy’s concentration is wanting on occasions where he’ll have to track the run of a tricky midfield runner, let’s say a Roberto Firmino of Liverpool, who uses his guile without the ball to hurt teams. Carvalho is sometimes made to look cumbersome on the press if he doesn’t have support around him to pass the ball to in a tight midfield, mostly when he’s been put on to play the ball on his weaker left foot. He does tend to be conservative with his passing, not looking for the venturesome, and opting to play the ball square to his full-backs instead.

Verdict

There’s a long way to go for William Carvalho to peak, and that is a frightening prospect. His rise from the nondescript lower rungs of football in Portugal to the limelights of UEFA Champions League is a testament to his ability to learn and learn fast, technically, physically, and tactically, on the task. While he may lack a sense of verticality and adventure in his passing, he does his job as a defensive midfielder with aplomb and power exhibited by very few in Europe at the moment. All in all, he’s worth every penny for West Brom. A potential Baggies great if they can sign him.

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