West Ham have struggled defensively in recent years, however, the arrival of Goncalo Cardoso from Liga Nos side Boavista presents Manuel Pellegrini with another defensive option ahead of their season opener against Manchester City.
The 18-year-old joined the Hammers for a reported £2.25m fee having made a total of 18 appearances for his former club. He also took part in this year’s Uefa Under 19’s championship where he picked up a runner up medal for Portugal.
He can play as an attacking centre back as well as a left back, something West Ham do not have currently have.
This attacking mentality is what the Irons need going forward and in defence, being a young player gives Cardoso time to develop over time and getting to play against one of the best teams in Europe in the form of Manchester City will only help him develop.
Reports also suggested that a number of big European clubs were after the centre back’s signature, however, the Portuguese youngster signed a five year deal with West Ham.
Cardoso is one of five signings that Pellegrini has made this summer and it looks like the East London club will be focusing on youth in the upcoming season.
Having played first-team football for Boavista he has experience in his possession and could possibly start against reigning Premier League Manchester City. He also has the technical ability to put the ball in the back of the net as well managing to grab three goals in eleven games for his country.
Manuel Pellegrini has a number of defensive options heading into the new season with Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena being his ideal options.
However, with Reece Oxford leaving to join Bundesliga side Augsburg, Cardoso creates an additional space in the lineup.
It is without any doubt that the Hammers are on their way up the league table and are focusing on promoting youth players to the first team with Grady Diangana, Declan Rice and Ben Johnson all making the step up.
- Opinion: Should Hammers fans worry after shaky start to season? - August 20, 2019
- Opinion: Have Hammers found hidden gem in form of Goncalo Cardoso? - August 8, 2019
- Opinion: Is 2019 make or break for Wilshere? - July 30, 2019