Gonçalo Cardoso has today put pen to paper on a 5-year deal taking him from Boavista FC to the East End of London. Aaron Barton for Próxima Jornada looks at who Gonçalo Cardoso is and gives West Ham supporters an insight into what they can expect from their new signing.
Cardoso had his first taste of senior football in the 18/19 season, making his debut for Boavista in October where he played 90 minutes and kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Aves. Since then he went on to play another 14 games for Boavista, completing 90 minutes on all but one occasion. His relative inexperience at senior level will mean that he will not be thrown directly into the deep end by West Ham and for the meantime will provide cover at CB but will be slowly integrated into the first-team setup. The length of his contract (5 years including an additional year if triggered), is a marker of the faith West Ham have in the player and his potential development.
A confident, capable central defender, Cardoso will more often than not attempt to play out of defence, searching for the right ball to move his team up the pitch as opposed to simply ‘getting rid’.
Standing at just over 6 foot 2, he has a physical presence at the back, something that will benefit him greatly playing in the Premier League, a faster paced and more physical league to what he is accustom to.
He is an aggressive defender, which can sometimes lead to him giving away cheap fouls although this is something that will be ironed out as he matures and develops. A key asset is his pace, especially for a central defender, he can get through the gears pretty quick and this helps him with making recovery runs and covering the back-line.
Cardoso was particularly impressive in the recent European Championships for the Portugal U19 side. He played 90 minutes in every single match, keeping a clean sheet in 3 out of the 5 games for his nation.
What West Ham have purchased is a player who is far from the finished article but a hungry, ambitious player with a very high ceiling and for £2.75 million particularly in this footballing financial climate, it represents very very good business.