Manchester United’s move for Bruno Fernandes has been a huge success over the past year.
The number 18 has set individual records and produced goals and assists at an astounding rate.
Alex Telles followed Fernandes’ path from Portugal to Manchester and he too looks like a very impressive signing so far.
Their impact, particularly Fernandes’, has shown the talent which exists in the Portuguese league. Often it is a division which gets looked down upon like the Eredivisie, for being of a low standard as sometimes players have trouble switching to English football.
Fernandes, and Telles, and Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani long before them, have shown the Primeira Liga is a division with a few gems in, and United should continue to cast their scouting eye towards Portugal with an eye on the future.
Here is a look at three Portuguese based players United could consider in the future…
Benfica striker Darwin Nunez has made a big impact this season since signing from Spanish side Almeria where he struck 16 goals last year.
Including Europa League goals, Nunez has eight goals so far and a further seven assists.
Nunez hails from Uruguay and fans in his country hope he can one day take over from Edinson Cavani.
The 21-year-old is regarded as one of the world’s most exciting prospects and if United were to bring him in to learn from Cavani first-hand, it could be a smart investment.
European football expert Andy Brassell told Talksport: “I love his all-round game; it is absolutely fantastic. He is not just a goalscorer, and he’s built for the Premier League; he’s super strong, he’s quick, good in the air, intelligent enough to create for others.”
Pedro ‘Pote’ Goncalves
Wolves may have dropped a clanger by letting young talent Pedro Goncalves leave the club in 2019.
After a year playing for Famalicao, Pote is now starring for Sporting, where he has done the impossible and replaced Bruno Fernandes.
This season Pote has scored 12 goals from 13 La Liga starts and has a further two assists.
The attacking midfielder is only 22-years-old and he is attracting attention after his phenomenal start to the season.
If United say goodbye to both Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata this year, then there may be a need for more attacking midfield depth.
Pote may be the ideal player to learn under Bruno Fernandes and eventually succeed him.
Left-sided prospect Nuno Mendes has made a breakthrough at Sporting this season at just 18.
Mendes can play either left wing or left-back and scored his first goal on just his second Primeira Liga start.
The teenager averages 2.5 interceptions per game through 12 matches and 1.4 dribbles per match.
He is a raw talent who has a lot to offer and AS report Real Madrid are eyeing him up as a potential successor to Marcelo.
United are well stocked at left-back with Luke Shaw and Alex Telles, but if Mendes can develop more as a left winger, then he may be able to provide an extra attacking outlet.
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