Saturday, September 24, 2022

Manchester United Keeping Tabs On This Liga NOS Winger: Right Choice For Solskjaer?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, The Telegraph has mentioned that Manchester United are keeping tabs on Sporting CP winger Pedro Goncalves, who has a buyout clause of £51.7m. It is understood that the Red Devils are eyeing a move to bring the Portuguese youngster to Old Trafford at the end of this campaign (via The Telegraph).

Goncalves’ Majestic Rise In Portuguese Football This Season

The Chavez-born talent is having an excellent campaign with the Portuguese giants after producing some mesmerising displays in the Liga NOS. Goncalves has banged in 15 goals and grabbed four assists in 21 league matches for Sporting CP this season.

The 22-year-old has caught the eye by averaging 1.5 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 2.4 shots, 1.6 key passes, 0.6 crosses and 1.3 dribbles per game in the Portuguese top-flight. However, he has to distribute the ball a bit better in the opposition half as he has made 73.6% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

Goncalves is currently under contract at the José Alvalade Stadium until the summer of 2025, so Sporting could be unwilling to let him go unless the Red Devils or any other interested clubs decide to pay the £51.7m release clause in full for his services.

Manchester United keeping tabs on Pedro Goncalves who is seen in the photo
Pedro Goncalves from Sporting during the mens Liga NOS game between Sporting and Santa Clara at Estadio Alvalade in Lisbon Liga NOS – Sporting CP v Santa Clara PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxBRA

What Does The Portuguese Wing Wizard Bring To The Table?

Goncalves is a deceptively quick winger who can complete some dangerous dribbles out on the flanks. He is primarily a right-sided winger but can also function as an attacking midfielder or in a box to box role if needed. The Portuguese prospect has proven his worth as a consistent goal-scorer but needs to work on improving his assists numbers in the coming seasons. He has also got a great work ethic and is always willing to go the extra mile by helping out his teammates at the back when the opposition are on the offensive.

Is Goncalves The Right Choice For Man United?

Goncalves has the makings of a future star in European football, but only if he gets to play regularly at the Theatre of Dreams over the next few years. Hence, a move to Old Trafford could be a huge step in the player’s career. At 22, he has still got a lot of time to establish himself as a top winger at the highest level, but there are some concerns over whether he can cope with the physicality and high intensity of Premier League football.

Man United should prioritise on engineering a move for the Portuguese sensation as he could potentially inject even more goals and creativity to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s attack. Furthermore, Goncalves will add a lot of long-term value to the Man United squad which makes him a decent choice for the Red Devils to consider in this off-season.

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