Leões/Lions Awards 2017

As always, another year where I don’t actually post anything but I do do this.

It’s been a difficult year for Sporting with a season that ended too early and a transfer policy that reeked of prime Godinho Lopes. However, the were some bright spots and some reason for optimism for next year.

Goal of the Season: Gelson Martins vs. Paços de Ferreira (Link) – After collecting a lovely through ball, Gelson Martins flicks the ball over toe goalkeeper before slotting into an empty net. It was this kind of creative play that made Gelson one of the bright spots on the season.
Runners Up: 2. Bruno César vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Link), Alan Ruiz vs. Porto (Link)
Bonus: Gelson Martins vs. Porto (Link), Bas Dost vs. Boavista (Link), Elias vs. Vitória de Guimarães (Link), Bas Dost vs. Estoril (Link)
2016: João Mário vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Link)
2015: Nani vs. Gil Vicente (Link)
2014: Carlos Mané vs. Marítimo (Link)
2013: Ricky van Wolfswinkel vs. Braga (Link)
2012: Marat Izmailov vs. Rio Ave (Link)

Worst Signing of the Season: Luc Castaignos – It’s been a difficult choice to pick just one player out to be the worst. You have Elias, Lazar Markovic, Marcelo Meli, André, Joel Campbell and Radosav Petrović. There can be a case made for each of those players. However, Luc Castaignos is the only one of those players who made it past January, and I can only assume that is because no other club wanted to take him of our hands. The once promising Dutch forward had an excellent chance to reignite his career in Portugal but could barely even get into a scoring position when given the chance. On the rare times he did get into a good position for a chance it inevitably went high and wide. A total dud.
Runners Up: 2. Lazar Markovic (Possibly an undercover agent), 3. Elias (It was worth a try)
2016: 1. Hernán Barcos, 2. Michaël Ciani, 3. Bruno Paulista
2015: 1. Simeon Slavchev, 2. Naby Sarr, 3. Ramy Rabia
2014: 1. Gérson Magrão, 2. Welder, 3. Iván Piris
2013: 1. Khalid Boulahrouz, 2. Danijel Pranjic, 3. Gelson Fernandes
2012: 1. Valeri Bojinov, 2. Luis Aguiar, 3. Elias

Best Signing of the Season: Bas Dost – It was always going to be tough to fill in for the departing Islam Slimani. Bas Dost came in form an average season in Germany with Wolfsburg but was quick to settle in to life in Portugal. Under Jorge Jesus his link up play has improved greatly as the season progressed. His aerial presence and strikers instinct are what was helped him racked up the goals all season long. Currently, he’s looking even better after forming an exciting and mildly amusing Arnie / DeVito tribute act. If he can replicate this form next season it will be something.
Runners Up: 2. Beto (A superb backup to Rui Patrício), 2. Gelson Dala (A very exciting prospect)
2016: 1. Jorge Jesus, 2. Bryan Ruiz, 3. Bruno César
2015: 1. Paulo Oliveira, 2. Nani, 3. Ewerton
2014: 1. Leonardo Jardim, 2. Islam Slimani, 3. Jefferson
2013: 1. Fabrice Fokobo, 2. Marcos Rojo, 3. Zakaria Labyad
2012: 1. Stijn Schaars, 2. Ricky van Wolfswinkel, 3. Emiliano Insúa

Next is a new award I have just made up. This season whilst some trash signings were taking up spaces there were improvements waiting for game time.

Most Under-utilised Player: Paulo Oliveira – Although Sebastián Coates was solid all season, Rúben Semedo was hot and cold. When he was good, he was excellent however when he was poor he was a massive liability. Paulo Oliveira however has always been an assured player and perhaps suffers from his relative lack of size and strength in comparison to Semedo, something Jorge Jesus seems to value in his centre-backs. He’s an intelligent defender and it would be a shame for him to leave in summer whilst pursing game time, especially after the signing of André Pinto from Braga.
Runners Up: 2. Ricardo Esgaio (Out of position at left back, he was still better than Jefferson and Marvin), 3. Matheus Pereira (When he played he was better than all our other wingers except Gelson)
Bonus Answer: Ryan Gauld

U23 Player of the Season: Gelson Martins – When times have been tough this season there has always been something to admire in watching Gelson Martins play. His game is natural which can mean he occasionally does something that looks stupid, however, it also means he can do outrageous pieces of skill and become our most powerful creative force. Hopefully Gelson (rumoured with every big club) sticks around for at least one more season to really develop further as a player.
Runners Up: 2. Daniel Podence, 3. Matheus Pereira
2016: 1. João Mário, 2. Gelson Martins, 3. Carlos Mané
2015: 1. Paulo Oliveira, 2. João Mário, 3. Carlos Mané
2014: 1. William Carvalho, 2. Carlos Mané, 3. André Carrillo
2013: 1. André Martins, 2. Eric Dier, 3. Tiago Ilori
2012: 1. Ricky van Wolfswinkel, 2. André Martins, 3. André Carrillo

B Team Player of the Season: Gelson Dala – Yes, he only arrived in January but when he came Sporting B were struggling in a relegation scrap and it looked like perhaps the first team would all have to chip in to prevent a disaster. However, with the arrival of Gelson Dala there seemed to be a player who was a level ahead of everyone else. It was no surprise he was pushing for the first team by the end of the season after his fantastic goal scoring record and eye-catching performances.
Runners Up: 2. Leonardo Ruiz, 3. Ivanildo Fernandes
2016: 1. Daniel Podence, 2. Francisco Geraldes, 3. Matheus Pereira
2015: 1. Wallyson Mallmann, 2. Gelson Martins, 3. Ryan Gauld
2014: 1. Ricardo Esgaio, 2. Iuri Medeiros, 3. Wallyson Mallmann
2013: 1. Ricardo Esgaio, 2. Eric Dier, 3. Bruma

Player of the Season: Bas Dost – As stated above, what a signing Bas Dost has been. He was even chasing Lionel Messi for the Golden Boot, no mean feat.
Runners Up: 2. Gelson Martins (Excellent creative output), 3. Sebastián Coates (Solid all season long)
2016: 1. Islam Slimani, 2. Adrien Silva, 3. João Mário
2015: 1. André Carrillo, 2. Nani, 3. Adrien Silva
2014: 1. William Carvalho, 2. Adrien Silva, 3. Cédric Soares
2013: 1. Rui Patrício, 2. Diego Capel, 3. Fabián Rinaudo
2012: 1. Rui Patrício, 2. Stijn Schaars, 3. Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Summer Transfers 2016 Review: Departures

So, how did Sporting do in the transfer market this summer? Here’s a look. First, we’ll start with the departures before the far more exciting stuff of arrivals.

André Carrillo to Benfica (Free) – Enough has been said of this transfer already.

Héldon Ramos to Rio Ave (Loan) – Another loan move for Cape Verdean and once again at Rio Ave. The forward doesn’t seem to feature in Jorge Jesus’ plans so it is only a matter of time before his permanent departure.

Mica Pinto to Belenenses (Free) – Mica Pinto was progressing well in the youth system and B teams but he suffered some major injuries which has hurt his development. Hopefully he can get back to his potential at Belenenses.

Luís Ribeiro to Estoril (Free) – Another player who had plenty of games for the B team but didn’t quite make the grade. Currently has José Moreira and Thierry Graça to beat in the pecking line up.

André Geraldes to Vitória de Setúbal (Loan) – Loan moves to Vitória de Setúbal seem to be a good thing for a lot of Sporting players lately, like João Mário and Rúben Semedo. Geraldes is 25-years old now so he really needs to impress if he wants to break into the Sporting first team.

Tobias Figueiredo to Nacional (Loan) – Tobias was on the fringes of the first team, with the arrival of Sebastián Coates making it difficult for him to get game time. A full season loan at Primeira Liga side should do that and so far he has scored against Benfica for the Madeira side, so that’s a good start.

Francisco Sousa to Gondomar (Free) – Featured for the U19s last season but not deemed good enough to be promoted to the B team so he leaves for Gondomar.

Jorge Silva to Leixões (Free) – Returns to his former club after failing to make the grade with the B team.

Seejou King to Aves (Free) – Had a really bad injury last season but Seejou King is another one who did well for the B team but couldn’t find their way into the senior side. Has yet to make his debut for the club.

Miguel Lopes to Akhisar (Loan) – Miguel Lopes is still a victim of his own high wage demands, another ghost of the Godinho Lopes regime. He joins a large Portuguese speaking contingent at Akhisar in Turkey.

Rafael Barbosa to União da Madeira (Loan) – Although the B team could use his services so far this season, Barbosa has been given a loan to União to improve his game. The 20-year old featured regularly last season and has so far played 6 times for União.

Zhang Lingfeng to Torreense (Free) – The Chinese midfielder didn’t make the grade for the club at youth level so has been given a new lease of life at Torreense.

Domingos Duarte to Belenenses (Loan) – Has played in all 3 of Belenenses’ opening games so far. The young central defender has been improving massively in the last year so can hopefully evolve to the next level in Belém.

Filipe Chaby to Sporting da Covilhã (Loan) – Chaby was an excellent prospect at youth levels but a few injuries have stalled his development. At 22-years old now it’s important that the midfielder impresses for Covilhã this season.

Cristian Ponde to Sporting da Covilhã (Loan) – Much like Chaby, this is Cristian Ponde’s season to try and shine. This is the forward’s first loan move away from the club and scored his first goal for Covilhã against Portimonense last weekend.

Oriol Rosell to Belenenses (Loan) – Rosell didn’t get as much game time at Vitória de Guimarães last season as was expected or needed. It seems Jorge Jesus isn’t a fan of the Spanish midfielder so this may be more a shop window loan for him.

Simeon Slavchev to Lechia Gdansk (Loan) – The Bulgarian midfielder arrived at Sporting a few years ago with a good reputation in his native Bulgaria. Slavchev has yet to convince though so he goes on another excursion, this time to Poland.

Hadi Sacko to Leeds United (Loan) – The French forward scored the winning goal on his Championship debut against Birmingham City. It is unlikely that he will return to Sporting after his loan season though.

Ousmane Dramé to Moreirense (Free) – The French forward was given a new lease of life in Portugal after his career in Italy floundered. He will be remembered for his one game and one amazing goal in the first team.

Zezinho to Levadiakos (Free) – The Guinea-Bissau international looked good for the first team when Jesualdo Ferreira first brought him in back in 2012, but the midfielder fell just short of the required ability for the first team.

Ryan Gauld to Vitória de Setúbal (Loan) – Another player who will hopefully make a large amount of progress at Setúbal. This is the Scottish midfielder’s first taste of Primeira Liga football so hopefully he can progress and fulfil his massive potential.

Francisco Geraldes to Moreirense (Loan) – A player who has already had a great start to life at Moreirense. When the rumours of Adrien Silva possibly moving to Leicester City, there were many calls for Geraldes to be called from loan to fulfil his role. Geraldes looks set to have an outstanding season and will hopefully return ready for the first team next season.

Aya Diouf to Sertanense (Loan) – The Senegalese defender only joined Sporting’s academy a few years ago and will move on loan to Sertanense before being given a B team shot.

Guilherme Oliveira to Cova da Piedade (Loan) – The young goalkeeper has plenty of competition at the club with Pedro Silva, Vladimir Stojković and Luís Maximiano currently the favoured choices. The 21-year old desperately needs regular gam time.

Teófilo Gutiérrez to Rosario Central (Loan, €1,200,000 fee) – Just when Teó was getting good he decided he wanted to return to Argentina. The move was a prolonged affair with the Colombian preferring River Plate as his destination. Although this is a loan move I wouldn’t expect to see Gutiérrez in a Sporting shirt again.

Kikas to Leixões (Free) – Kikas certainly can’t be faulted for his loyalty to the club and it’s only a shame he couldn’t break into the first team. Hopefully goes on to have a great career.

André Martins to Olympiakos (Free) – Despite his promise, André Martins couldn’t make his way into the team with the arrival of Jorge Jesus. Now he joins Paulo Bento in Greece and another player who hopefully finds his way back into prominence.

João Palhinha to Belenenses (Loan) – João Palhinha looked awfully close to getting into the first team this season but just fell short despite featuring a lot in pre-season. Hopefully improves ready to take his spot next season.

Alberto Aquilani to Pescara (Free) – After being stupidly sent off in a humiliating pre-season friendly, that probably sealed the departure of Aquilani. The Italian midfielder looked classy whenever he played but was not going to break into the first team last season and it seems even with the departure of João Mário was not a part of Jesus’ plans and departs.

Naldo to Krasnodar (€4,500,000) – Bought for €3m and sold for €4.5m, isn’t a bad piece of business from Bruno de Carvalho. Initially the Brazilian looked solid alongside Paulo Oliveira in defence but with the arrival of Sebastián Coates and the emergence of Rúben Semedo he found games hard to come by.

Hernán Barcos to Vélez Sarsfield (Loan) – Barcos didn’t impress at all in his stint, joining as part of the transfer of Fredy Montero out to China last season, he didn’t come close to the Colombian’s talent. Although his departure is a loan he is unlikely to return to the club.

João Mário to Internazionale (€40,000,000) – What can we say about João Mário? On the pitch and off the pitch the creative midfielder was a class act. There’s been plenty written about this so I don’t need to expand too much but hopefully João Mário excel at Inter and returns to the club one day in the future. The transfer fee, of course, is a record sale by Sporting and credit must go to Bruno de Carvalho for the negotiations.

Jonathan Silva to Boca Juniors (Loan) – The left-back has had his loan move to Boca Juniors extended after impressing there. With Jefferson seemingly not favoured by Jorge Jesus and Bruno César and Marvin Zeegelaar as the alternatives there’s certainly a spot for the Argentinian in the squad next season.

Ewerton to Kaiserslautern (Loan) – The Brazilian central defender was similar to Naldo in the sense that initially he looked solid but with other players emerging he fell down the pecking order. A move to the Bundesliga could be a good option for him and the German club have the option to buy the player at the end of the loan move.

Iuri Medeiros to Boavista (Loan) – Medeiros again got very close to the first team but just fell short so he will go on another loan move. He impressed at Moreirense last season and at 22-years old now this should hopefully be his final loan move before breaking into the first team.

Carlos Mané to Stuttgart (Loan) – Held back by the emergence of Gelson Martins and, perhaps, the arrival of Jorge Jesus, Carlos Mané hasn’t quite made it yet. After being incredibly promising early on and popping up with goals it seems his future may lie elsewhere. Of course, after his 2 season loan spell at Stuttgart, Mané could return to the club better than ever.

Daniel Podence to Moreirense (Loan) – Much like Iuri Medeiros, Daniel Podence was very close to making it into the first team this season. The diminutive and tricky attacker looked impressive in pre-season but recent transfers meant his first team appearances would be rare. With Sporting’s currently stacked list of young, tricky, quick attacking wingers extending to Matheus Pereira, Gelson Martins, Iuri Medeiros, Carlos Mané and Podence himself a loan move is the best option for him.

Wallyson Mallmann to Standard Liège (Loan) – Again so close yet so far for Wallyson as far as being promoted to the first team goes. Another loan spell may well be his last if he doesn’t impress Jorge Jesus.

Rúben Ribeiro to Aves (Free) – Some websites seem to have this transfer down as a loan but O Jogo claimed the player had rescinded his contract to join Aves on a 2-year deal. Indeed, a loan would probably have been better had he wanted to try and move up the ranks but it seems he’ll be going a different route.

Salim CIssé to Olhanense (Free) – The Guinean forward initially looked very promising but he hasn’t developed as Sporting would have hoped so he could revive his career with Olhanense after rescinding his contract.

Islam Slimani to Leicester City (€30,000,000) – Obrigado, Islam Slimani. Super Slim won everyone over with his passion, his late goals and his performances in the big games. Again, not much else is needed to be said about him as he was a firm favourite with the fans. Initially joining for €300,000 and leaving for 100x more, this will also be seen as the club’s best bit of transfer business to date. Hopefully goes on to have an excellent career and return in the future.

Zakaria Labyad (Released) – What could have been with Zakaria Labyad. The Moroccan has the talent and the potential but he can’t seem to find it when it matters, he won’t be missed and was a relic of the Godinho era.

Total loanees – 24 (almost putting Chelsea to shame)
Income – €75,700,000

Part 2 to follow later…

Leões/Lions Awards 2016

I may always forget to update this but I never forget the year end awards! It’s been a unique season. We’ve played some of the best football in Europe but just missed out on glory. So, here’s some meaningless opinions:

img_770x4332016_01_07_14_48_36_1047776Goal of the Season: João Mário vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Link) – This goal sums up João Mário’s breakout season. He glides around the pitch and then rockets an unstoppable shot into the net. Of course, being such a classy player, he doesn’t celebrate against the club he had a loan spell with. Beautiful.
Runners Up: 2. Adrien Silva vs. Académica (Link) 3. Islam Slimani vs. Estoril (Link)
Bonus: Bryan Ruiz vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Link), Islam Slimani vs. Académica (Link), Adrien Silva vs. Belenenses (Link)
2015: Nani vs. Gil Vicente (Link)
2014: Carlos Mané vs. Marítimo (Link)
2013: Ricky van Wolfswinkel vs. Braga (Link)
2012: Marat Izmailov vs. Rio Ave (Link)

Worst Signing of the Season: Hernán Barcos – This was a tricky award to give out, thankfully. Barcos, however, was a strange singing. He arrived in part exchange for Fredy Montero in another example of football’s exodus to China. Yet, the timing was off. Montero had just won us 3 points on his own in the previous game against Académica and, had we kept the Colombian, he could have made the difference later on in the season. Barcos failed to really stand out on any of his subsequent appearances.
Runners Up: 2. Michaël Ciani, 3. Bruno Paulista (purely due to his injuries)
2015: 1. Simeon Slavchev, 2. Naby Sarr, 3. Ramy Rabia
2014: 1. Gérson Magrão, 2. Welder, 3. Iván Piris
2013: 1. Khalid Boulahrouz, 2. Danijel Pranjic, 3. Gelson Fernandes
2012: 1. Valeri Bojinov, 2. Luis Aguiar, 3. Elias

2263041_w2Best Signing of the Season: Jorge Jesus – Talk about a coup. None of us what would have though last year that Jorge Jesus would be our manager. Bruno de Carvalho pulled off a wonder in bringing him to the Alvalade. The quality of football has been brilliant since he signed and what’s more impressive as this was done in a season where half way through we changed our entire defence. The only blot is the lack of a major trophy but regardless it was the best Sporting team in some time. We only hope he sticks around to win the league for us next season.
Runners Up: 2. Bryan Ruiz, 3. Bruno César
2015: 1. Paulo Oliveira, 2. Nani, 3. Ewerton
2014: 1. Leonardo Jardim, 2. Islam Slimani, 3. Jefferson
2013: 1. Fabrice Fokobo, 2. Marcos Rojo, 3. Zakaria Labyad
2012: 1. Stijn Schaars, 2. Ricky van Wolfswinkel, 3. Emiliano Insúa

U23 Player of the Season: João Mário – Starting the season at 22, the now 23 year old has been one of the best footballers in the country this season. With a new position under Jesus as a creative wide midfielder he has managed to be an important key to unlocking defences. He is was one of the classiest players to grave the Alvalade.
Runners Up: 2. Gelson Martins, 3. Rúben Semedo
2015: 1. Paulo Oliveira, 2. João Mário, 3. Carlos Mané
2014: 1. William Carvalho, 2. Carlos Mané, 3. André Carrillo
2013: 1. André Martins, 2. Eric Dier, 3. Tiago Ilori
2012: 1. Ricky van Wolfswinkel, 2. André Martins, 3. André Carrillo

B Team Player of the Season: Daniel Podence – This would have been Matheus Pereira’s award but althougth Brazilian was outstanding for the B team, his first team commitments limited his playing time. Instead, Daniel Podence is deserving of the award. Despite his stature, he’s starting to excel as a creative and tricky winger with goals to his name. A season long loan at a Primeira Liga club, similar to what Iuri Medeiros just had, would be great way to continue his development.
Runners Up: 2. Francisco Geraldes, 3. Matheus Pereira
2015: 1. Wallyson Mallmann, 2. Gelson Martins, 3. Ryan Gauld
2014: 1. Ricardo Esgaio, 2. Iuri Medeiros, 3. Wallyson Mallmann
2013: 1. Ricardo Esgaio, 2. Eric Dier, 3. Bruma

01_13181623_6b1cae_2639989aPlayer of the Season: Islam Slimani – The stats speak for themselves with Islam Slimani. The Algerian has been on fire with 31 goals in all competitions this season that has made it impossible for defences to deal with his aerial ability and predatory instincts. His goals against Porto and Benfica showed what a big game player he is as well. Slimani is an admirer of Jorge Jesus so hopefully he may stick around next season.
Runners Up: 2. Adrien Silva, 3. João Mário
2015: 1. André Carrillo, 2. Nani, 3. Adrien Silva
2014: 1. William Carvalho, 2. Adrien Silva, 3. Cédric Soares
2013: 1. Rui Patrício, 2. Diego Capel, 3. Fabián Rinaudo
2012: 1. Rui Patrício, 2. Stijn Schaars, 3. Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Transfer Round-Up 2015: Arrivals

After saying goodbye to so many players in the last round-up, now we look ahead at those who have joined Sporting this season.

Jorge Jesus from Benfica (free): Well, what can be said? What a huge coup from Sporting and Bruno de Carvalho to bring Jorge Jesus from Benfica to Sporting. The news was reported all over the world and so far Jesus has made a positive impression. Already changing formation to his more dynamic 4-2-2-2 and beating his old club in the Supertaça.

Ažbe Jug from Bordeaux (free): A stranger transfer of the 23-year old Slovenian goalkeeper from Bordeaux. So far it seems the goalkeeper is 3rd choice behind Rui Patrício and Marcelo Boeck.

Ewerton from Anzhi Makhachkala (€1,500,000): After an excellent loan move to Sporting it is no surprise that the club decided to pay for the Brazilian defender. Unfortunately, Ewerton was injured in pre-season so has yet to feature for Sporting this year.

Naldo from Udinese (€2,000,000): Looks to be a solid signing already, forming a capable partnership with Paulo Oliveira and will prove stiff competition for Tobias Figueiredo and Ewerton over the season. Sporting know have 4 capable centre-backs in the squad.

Michaël Ciani from Lazio (free): It was always strange that Sporting signed yet another centre-back. Ciani, as mentioned before, didn’t last very long. A forgettable transfer already.

Bryan Ruiz from Fulham (€1,000,000): The forward looks to have settled in well from Fulham already, although not proving to be much of a goalscoring threat his link up play and assists have impressed so far.

João Pereira from Hannover (free): Returning to the club after spells with Valencia and Hannover. João Pereira is 31 now though his experience still hasn’t prevented him from being error prone his is still very good going forward. With the departures of Cédric Soares and Miguel Lopes, he will have to defend his place in the first team from Ricardo Esgaio.

Teófilo Gutiérrez from River Plate (€3,400,000): Solid start from the Colombian thus far in Portugal. Gutiérrez was lucky to score in the Sueprtaça game against Benfica (it looked like it should have been Carrillo’s goal to me) but his 3 goals so far are hopefully a sign of things to come. The only concerns are his personality.

Alberto Aquilani from Fiorentina (free): Another player who looks to who have settled nicely, impressing with his passing range whenever his has been called upon from Jorge Jesus. Aquilani doesn’t quite look settled in a 2 man midfield yet so is likely to feature mostly from the bench. Still, the Italy midfielder brings plenty of experience to the side.

Bruno Paulista from Bahia (€3,500,000): The most expensive signing of the season so far is still cutting it in the B team. He’s impressed there, despite being sent off last week and should hopefully be fighting for a first team place soon.

Estimated Transfer Fees: €11,400,000
Estimated Transfer Sales: €14,150,000
Estimated Transfer Profit: €2,750,000

Transfer Round-Up 2015: Departures

As always with Sporting, there were plenty of entrances and exits throughout the transfer window, so here’s a breakdown of all of those who left the Alvalade albeit temporarily or permanently.

Maurício to Lazio (€2,600,000): A transfer that was essentially made in January but was made permanent by Lazio over the summer adding a little bit extra to Sporting’s transfer budget.

Cédric Soares to Southampton (€6,500,000): Considering the right fullback had only a year left on his contract this wasn’t a bad fee and Cédric has already made a solid start to life in England. However, had his contract been sorted out sooner Sporting could have kept or got a far greater fee for the Portugal international.

Lewis Enoh to Lokeren (€350,000): Not a bad profit for a player who cost only a tenth of that when brought in Sourense back in January 2014. The Cameroonian performed adequately enough for the B team and demonstrated that Sporting can make profit from their second string players.

Nuno Reis to Metz (free): It’s sad to see Nuno Reis not make it at Sporting after spending so long with the club and being so impressive at youth level. A move to Metz though may give his career a kickstart.

José Postiga to Rio Ave (free): Unable to agree to a new contract with Sporting the young striker has moved to Rio Ave on a free transfer. Postiga has yet to play for his new club as he faces some stiff competition to become a first pick Primeira Liga striker.

André Geraldes to Belenenses (loan): Geraldes has rejoined the club where he so impressed two seasons ago. Under Ricardo Sá Pinto the fullback will hopefully return to Sporting for next season ready to slot into the first team.

Liu Yiming to Pinhalnovense (free): The young Chinese defender was unable to break in the B team so has been given a free transfer to join 3 of his compatriots at Pinhalnovense. Some regular first team football is exactly what he needs at this time in his career.

Lisandro Semedo to Reading (free): A frustrating situation in which Semedo and Sporting were unable to come to terms with a new contract for the promising winger. Joining Championship side Reading is an interesting choice for the player.

José Marinheiro to Coruchense (free): The young goalkeeper has been released from Sporting and has joined up with GD Coruchense in the Campeonato Nacional Seniores Série G.

Naby Sarr to Charlton Athletic (€2,000,000): Sporting did well to double their money after selling Naby Sarr after just one season. The physically excellent but error-prone centre-back was ousted by Tobias Figueiredo, Paulo Oliveira and later Ewerton last season. He will face a very different challenge in the Championship.

Miguel Lopes to Granada (loan): Another move for Miguel Lopes who is still suffering from the high wages he was given when he joined the club under Godinho Lopes. The right-back had a solid run in the team last season under Marco Silva but Jorge Jesus seems to prefer João Pereira and Ricardo Esgaio.

Héldon Ramos to Rio Ave (loan): Still unable to break into the first team at Sporting, Héldon will be joining Rio Ave for the remainder of the season.

Simeon Slavchev to Apollon Limassol (loan): Another player unable to find a way into Jorge Jesus’ plans. The Bulgarian midfielder still seems to be struggling to adapt to Portuguese football.

Betinho to Belenenses (undisclosed): It’s a shame that Betinho never made it into the Sporting team after having been so promising at youth level. A wasted year last season with Brentford this move to Belenenses could be a huge boost for the young striker’s career.

João Palhinha to Moreirense (loan): João Palhinha seemed to impress Jorge Jesus and was quickly integrated into first team training during pre-season. A loan to Moreirense could give the midfielder some much needed Primeira Liga experience to develop even further. Will hopefully come back better and stronger.

Wallyson Mallmann to OGC Nice (loan): Surprisingly, Nice have an option to buy Mallmann at the end of this loan. Wallyson looked like he may have been likely for a first team berth this season but instead will be playing in Ligue 1. If the Brazilian midfielder does return to Sporting next season he will hopefully be able to fight his way into the first team.

Rúben Semedo to Vitória de Setúbal (loan): Another play who looked like he had convinced Jorge Jesus of his talents but just fell short of being integrated into the first team. Semedo did play in the Supertaça before being loan to Setúbal where he will hopefully develop like João Mário did there a few seasons ago.

Mica Pinto to Recreativo de Huelva (loan): One of the trio of players loan to Recreativo managed by former B team manager José Dominguez. The left-back is in need of a loan move out after so long playing B team football.

Luís Ribeiro to Recreativo de Huelva (loan): Similar to Mica Pinto in as much as he has perhaps played too much B team football and needs a move to develop further.

Kikas to Recreativo de Huelva (loan): A different challenge for Kikas after his season in Romania last year. It’s probably only a matter of time before he departs the club on a permanent basis.

Michaël Ciani to Espanyol (free): Well, that was quick. Ciani came, saw and left. Sporting could still profit from the French defender as they retain a small amount of his rights for a future transfer.

Diego Capel to Genoa (€1,300,000): Sad to see the Spanish winger leave after such a long stint at the club but after being unable to feature for Marco Silva often last season coupled with his high wages the writing was on the wall. The transfer fee is low for a player of his quality but Sporting will be happy to free up space on the wage bill for new contracts. Best of luck to Diego Capel!

Iuri Medeiros to Moreirense (loan): Iuri Medeiros impressed on loan at Arouca last season but didn’t impress Jesus enough, the manager preferring the young Gelson Martins over him. There’s still plenty of time for the exiting winger though and hopefully this loan deal helps.

Shikabala to Zamalek (€650,000): FINALLY! Shikabala has been a disaster of transfer. It was always a risky move but regardless, nothing went well. After so long AWOL, Shikabala returns to Zamalek for a profit. Not sure how Bruno de Carvalho managed that one.

Filipe Chaby to União da Madeira (loan): Chaby helped União da Madeira get promoted to the Primeira Liga and now he can help them stay there. This is a step up un level that could be key in the midfielder’s development.

Diego Rubio to Real Valladolid (free): An excellent signing from the perspective of Valladolid. The Chilean was in fantastic form for the B team when he returned from Norway last season. Rubio may well go on to score plenty of goals for the Spanish side.

Ramy Rabia to Al Ahly (€750,000): Rabia returns to Al Ahly for about the same fee as when was signed, the defender just wasn’t able to make an impression in the first team with Tobias Figueiredo ahead of him in the pecking order.

Wilson Eduardo to Braga (free): Another player it’s sad to see go. Wilson Eduardo has plenty to offer and will undoubtably do well for Braga. A good move for the player and for Braga though Sporting will be disappointed not to get a transfer fee they retain rights to the player for any future transfers.

Jorge Santos to Salgueiros (free): Gazela just wasn’t able to make the step up to Sporting B’s level of football after his mve last season as was loaned to Salgueiros last season. Jorge Santos has now moved there on a permanent basis.

Estimated transfer sales: €14,150,000

Leões/Lions Awards 2015

We’re back, after many months of not posting to deliver a belated end of season awards post. I can’t even get into Jorge Jesus, Cédric Soares or any possible future transfers just yet, but hey, here we go.

Goal of the Season: Nani vs. Gil Vicente (Link) – It was good enough to bring Nani to tears after scoring it, an absolutely brilliant half-volley. The set up was easy enough, a simple throw-in from Miguel Lopes, but Nani’s header set up and the winger waited for the perfect moment to unleash an unstoppable shot. Wonderful.
Runners-up: Nani vs. Schalke (Link), Junya Tanaka vs. Braga (Link), Fredy Montero vs. Marítimo (Link), Adrien Silva vs. Braga (Link), Adrien Silva vs. Estoril (Link)
Bonus: Nani vs. Maribor (Link), Islam Slimani vs. Penafiel (Link), Fredy Montero vs. Paços de Ferreira (Link), Adrien Silva vs. Gil Vicente (Link), Nani vs. Gil Vicente (Link), Fredy Montero vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Link)
Hilarity Bonus: Islam Slimani vs. Benfica (Link)
2014: Carlos Mané vs. Marítimo (Link)
2013: Ricky van Wolfswinkel vs. Braga (Link)
2012: Marat Izmailov vs. Rio Ave (Link)

Worst Signing of the Season: I’m not sure why I created this award, probably because a few years ago there were so many terrible signings that it was difficult to pick just one. This time I will go with Simeon Slavchev, despite the €2,500,000 price tag the Bulgarian seemed unable to settle in Portugal, not looking close to breaking in the first team. He had plenty of competition of course, but looked one dimensional when he was called up and was sent on loan to Bolton Wanderers. May well improve next season.
Runners-up: Naby Sarr (a few blunders but still developing), Ramy Rabia (ditto)
2014: Gérson Magrão
2013: Khalid Boulahrouz
2012: Valeri Bojinov

Best Signing of the Season: Paulo Oliveira – It seems Sporting finally got the defender we deserve. The classy centre-back initially couldn’t get into Marco Silva’s team ahead of Naby Sarr and Maurício for some unknown reason. However, he soon cemented his spot in the team and created solid partnerships with Tobias Figueiredo and later Ewerton. At just 23-years old the transfer marks a solid investment for the future.
Runners-up: Nani (no wages? Brilliant!), Ewerton (another loan deal, fit in perfectly)
2014: Leonardo Jardim
2013: Fabrice Fokobo
2012: Stijn Schaars

U23 Player of the Season: Paulo Oliveira – As stated above, Paulo Oliveira is a classy addition in the squad. Set to have a great future for Sporting and Portugal.
Runners-up: João Mário, Carlos Mané
2014: William Carvalho
2013: André Martins
2012: Ricky van Wolfswinkel

B-Team Player of the Season: Wallyson Mallmann – The combative Brazilian midfielder’s breakout year. Ever present in the B team as well as featuring at the fringe of the first team. Wallyson will hope to try and break into the first team next season.
Runners-up: Gelson Martins, Ryan Gauld
2014: Ricardo Esgaio
2013: Ricardo Esgaio

Player of the Season: André Carrillo – The arrival of Nani seems to have brought out the best in André Carrillo, who’s similarity in style to the Portugal winger is evident. The Peruvian was the best he has ever been this year, contributing with goals and plenty of assists. A new contract for Carrillo is surely one of Bruno de Carvalho’s priorities in the summer.
Runners-up: Nani, Adrien Silva
2014: William Carvalho
2013: Rui Patrício
2012: Rui Patrício

Transfer Round-Up 2014: Arrivals

So, we already reviewed the departures but here we go with this years summer signings. Starting with our new coach…

Marco Silva from Estoril (Free): When the news broke that Marco Silva would not be renewing his contract with Estoril rumours had him being linked with all the big clubs. Then, when the rumours started that Leonardo Jardim was heading to Monaco things made a lot more sense. It’s a tough job for Marco Silva having only previously managed Estoril although he’s done some incredible things for them in that time. Sporting is certainly a different prospect. Still, we will see how it goes – so far signs are positive.

Simeon Slavchev from Litex Lovech (Undisclosed): The battling midfielder hasn’t played too much football for Sporting thus far. A few knocks disrupted his pre-season but at just 20-years old there’s plenty of time for him to improve and adapt to Portuguese football.

Paulo Oliveira from Vitória de Guimarães (Undisclosed): It was almost certain Marcos Rojo was going to leave the club this summer and so Sporting made sure to sign a new centre-back as soon as possible. Oliveira impressed during his time at Guimarães but now needs to establish himself in the first team as so far Marco Silva seems to prefer Naby Sarr.

Oriol Rosell from Sporting Kansas City (Undisclosed): The former Barcelona youth player seems to have settled in well already and has been promising so far. Signed as a back-up to William Carvalho with possibly a view to replacing him when the inevitable big money for him arrives.

Jorge Santos from Padroense (Undisclosed): A signing for the B-team, the 21-year old forward was once part of Porto’s youth set up but left to join minnows Padroense. Still, he clearly did enough to impress there and will have a rather large step up to adapt to.

André Geraldes from İstanbul Başakşehir (€600,000): Signed as the new back-up to Cédric Soares after a solid time spent last season at Belenenses. Geraldes though has plenty of competition to get into the team with the recently instated Miguel Lopes and the very promising Ricardo Esgaio coming through the youth system. It could be a tough season for Geraldes.

Junya Tanaka from Kashiwa Reysol (€750,000): Had an excellent pre-season in which he scored plenty of goals although will now find it difficult to get ahead of Islam Slimani and Fredy Montero. So far, signs are promising – his attempt that hit the post in the final minute against Arouca was the one that lead the Carlos Mané’s winner. So far, a promising singing.

Ryan Gauld from Dundee United (€3,750,000): Sporting’s biggest investment in this transfer window is Scotland’s “mini-Messi”. So far Gauld has been put in the B team to help him adapt to life in Portugal but already he is impressing and it shouldn’t be too long before he breaks through to the first team but at just 18-years old he still has plenty of time on his side – a very exciting prospect!

Naby Sarr from Lyon (€1,300,000): There was some pessimism after hearing some negative comments from French football fans after Sporting completed the signing of Naby Sarr. The giant centre-defender so far has been very solid in alongside Maurício in defence and seems to have won Marco Silva’s early trust over Paulo Oliveira. Sarr is just 21-years old so there is plenty of time for him to mature and settle down.

Ramy Rabia from Al-Ahly (€750,000): It took a long, long time for Sporting to complete the signing of Ramy Rabia this summer but eventually they got their man. The 21-year old can play at centre-back or defensive midfield but has so far been playing alongside Tobias Figueiredo in the B team. He’s looked very promising in his first few games although has recently picked up an injury. Another player with bags of potential.

Jonathan Silva from Estudiantes de La Plata (€2,800,000): Signed as competition for Jefferson at left-back with a big price too. Silva only turned 20 in June so he’s another promising youngster. The Argentinian made a fantastic debut for the B team with a fantastic goal and it shouldn’t be too long until he gets his first team shot.

Nani from Manchester United (Loan): Bruno de Carvalho’s coup of the transfer window was the arrival of Nani on loan from Manchester United as part of the Marcos Rojo sale. Not only could the returning Nani could hugely improve the side once he regains his match sharpness – Sporting won’t be paying any of his wages. We’ll forget that his second debut began with him missing a penalty – there’s definitely more to come.

Hadi Sacko from Girondins de Bordeaux (€1,4000,000): Another signing based on potential is the forward Hadi Sacko. Sacko spent the beginning of 2014 on loan at Le Havre and will be beginning his Sporting career with the B team. At just 20-years old there’s plenty of time for the France U20 international to improve and break into the first team.

Estimated Transfer Spending (€14,350,000– Estimated Transfer Income (€23,000,000): +€8,650,000

In all it’s a very promising window for Sporting with plenty of young talent brought into the club that can be nurtured and improved. The oldest signings being Tanaka and Nani both at 27 but the average of the signing was 21.8 years old (23 if for some reason you wanted to include Marco Silva) it shows the obvious transfer policy of the club.

The club spending well within their means and making sure the new players have plenty of future resale value only bodes well for the club.

Transfer Round-Up 2014: Departures

It was another hectic transfer window for Sporting with plenty of entrances and exits. Here’s a round up of every move out of the club this summer. We’ll be recapping the exciting signings later on.

Departures:

Leonardo Jardim to AS Monaco (€3,000,000): After an impressive season with Sporting, Monaco came calling and chose Leonardo Jardim to replace Claudio Ranieri. Sporting got compensation for the move thought to be about €3,000,000. It seems Jardim left on good terms and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him return at some point in the future.

Victor Golas to Braga (Undisclosed): The Polish-Brazilian goalkeeper move on after failing to break into the Sporting team. At 23-years old he now needs competitive football but now needs to get ahead of Stanislav Kritsyuk. No word on any fees for the player but it is likely to minimal with a view to Sporting getting a cut of a future transfer.

Fabián Rinaudo to Catania (€3,000,000): It’s a shame to see Fito Rinaudo leave. The fierce Argentinian midfielder always gave everything he had in a Sporting shirt. The emergence of William Carvalho however meant he was unable to find a place in the team again. Unfortunately, with Catania’s relegation last season it now means the player will be in Serie B and he really deserves better. €3,000,000 isn’t a bad fee and Sporting have made a profit from him.

Wilson Eduardo to Dinamo Zagreb (Loan): Despite scoring a few goals in pre-season Wilson Eduardo was loaned out to Dinamo Zagreb and the Croatian club have an option to buy the player for a future fee. Eduardo simply had too much competition with other recognised wingers Diego Capel, André Carrillo, Carlos Mané, Shikabala and now Nani all fighting for places in the team.

Diogo Salomão to Deportivo de La Coruña (Loan): Another stint to Deportivo for Salomão as he recovers from the serious injury he picked up there last season. It’s likely that at some point Deportivo may actually pay for the player they keep signing.

Zezinho to AEL Limassol (Loan): It’s a shame for Zezinho, after being promoted to the first team by Jesualdo Ferreira a couple of seasons ago he’s never been give a chance to try and find his way back. He’s give another loan out and a chance to use the Greek he picked up at Veria. AEL have the option to buy the player should they choose to.

Valentín Viola to Kardemir Karabükspor (Loan): Viola seemed determined to try and fight for his space at Sporting and was back in training and given time to impress. Unfortunately for him he was deemed surplus and will now spend next out on loan. The Turkish club have the option to buy as well.

Eric Dier to Tottenham Hotspur (€4,000,000): Certainly the most disappointing departure for Sporting with such a meagre fee and the player’s potential. This season he would certainly have finally broken into a first team starting place but after failing to renegotiate a contract, the release clause value was a major issue, he left instead on a pittance.

William Owusu to Royal Antwerp (Free): The Ghanian failed to break through the Sporting team and instead had several loans to different clubs. Should be a good signing for Royal Antwerp.

Marcos Rojo to Manchester United (€20,000,000): Well this is a transfer that’s going to keep on going for a while. The fallout between Sporting and third-party company Doyen Sports was not pretty and will certainly lead to legal action. Sporting have paid €4,000,000 to Spartak Moscow and the original sum (believed to be a similar fee) to Doyen Sports. For now.

Rúben Semedo to Reus Deportiu (Loan): A good loan for both sides. Semedo needed some non B-team football and it seemed still had some issues after recently being suspended. Tobias Figueiredo seemed to benefit to a loan at Reus last season so hopefully Semedo will do the same.

Vítor Silva to Reus Deportiu (Free): A Shame for Vítor Silva to be stepping down so many divisions but good that at least he will be playing more football.

Hugo Sousa to Waasland-Beveren (Free): Hugo Sousa was always a solid utility player for Sporting B covering all defensive positions as well as defensive midfield. Still, a move to another club is certainly a good option for him.

Mickaël Meira to AEL Limassol (Undisclosed): Unlikely to be a large fee, if any, for the young goalkeeper who spent his last 5 seasons coming through the Sporting ranks. Hopefully, he’ll now get some more game time. Sporting will be receiving 40% of any future transfer fees for the player.

Kikas to Rapid București (Loan): Kikas has spent almost his entire life at the club and it’s such a shame he can’t quite manage to break into the first team. A spell at Rapid București should do him some good though. The Romanian club have the option of purchasing the player for €4,000,000 at the end of the spell.

Luka Stojanović to Apollon Limassol (Undisclosed): Was highly promising when he first signed for the club but it seems Stojanović was deemed surplus. His move to Apollon should kick start his career but no word of any fees or future sales fees.

Betinho to Brentford (Loan): Probably the least expected of the loans but certainly a small coup for Brentford. Betinho will wear the 22 shirt for the team currently 8th in the Championship.

Estimated Transfer Income: (~€23,000,000)

Overall not a bad window for Sporting although the departure of Eric Dier for such a nominal fee is disappointing. The club’s profit on Rojo (if it stands) made the significant amount of money for the club.

Most importantly Sporting managed to keep hold of the likes of William Carvalho, Rui Patrício, Islam Slimani, Adrien Silva, etc.

Leões/Lions Awards 2014

Much like this blog, in the last few weeks Sporting have put their foot off the pedal after second place and an automatic Champions League group stage spot was secured. So, with the season now over, it’s time for the 3rd Annual Leões/Lions Awards.

It’s a complete turn around from last year in which it was difficult to give out any awards in what was a terrible season but under Bruno de Carvalho and Leonardo Jardim times are looking up again. So, without further ado…

Goal of the Season: Carlos Mané vs. Marítimo (Link) – Not a bad way to mark your first start for the senior side, huh? This is really the break out goal for Carlos Mané and seems to have helped cement his place in the first team. The technique is brilliant with goalkeeper Wellington Lima only able to admire the shot that hits just under the bar. Glorious.
Runners Up: Fredy Montero (3rd) vs. Arouca (Link), Adrien Silva vs. Paços de Ferreira (Link)
Bonus: Wilson Eduardo vs. Rio Ave (Link), Cédric Soares vs. Braga (Link), André Carrillo vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Link), Diego Capel vs. Marítimo (Link), Carlos Mané vs. Rio Ave (Link)
2013: Ricky van Wolfswinkel vs. Braga (Link)
2012: Marat Izmailov vs. Rio Ave (Link)

Worst Signing of the Season: Gérson Magrão – This is a difficult award to give out as there weren’t any real flops as there certainly were last season. The players who didn’t show enough quality were all players signed on loan – so no real money wasted either. What makes this especially difficult is that Leonardo Jardim stuck with his best XI wherever possible and so the likes of Gérson Magrão, Iván Piris and Vítor Silva got very little game time at all. Gérson Magrão started the very first game of the season and was substituted in the first half for André Martins – evidence of how little effect he had. Gérson didn’t seem to do much else besides make up the numbers in midfield and rarely showed any sort of creation. He’ll surely be off somewhere else next season.
Runner Up: Welder (Barely played, didn’t even play well for the B team), Iván Piris (Did OK, I guess)
2013: Khalid Boulahrouz
2012: Valeri Bojinov

Best Signing of the Season: Leonardo Jardim – No contest really. Leonardo Jardim has really turned this team around this year. He has said all the right things whenever possible and, should he stick with us, will certainly help take this team forward next season. Jardim also brought Carlos Mané through the B team to great effect and was starting to give more B team players a chance before the season ended. With just 3 league defeats this season as well some very unfortunate cup knock-outs Sporting managed to finish 6 points clear of Porto in 2nd place. Who would have predicted that at the start of the season? A fantastic turn around spearheaded by the manager.
Runners Up: Islam Slimani (Came from nowhere and turned into Super Sub and the man with the golden head), Jefferson (Goal threat as well as being a really solid full back), Fredy Montero (If only he played in 2014 like he did in 2013 but he could be great next season)
2013: Fabrice Fokobo
2012: Stijn Schaars

U23 Player of the Season: William Carvalho – An easy decision really. It’s hard to believe that William Carvalho only just turned 22 last month. He’s played like a midfielder in his prime with a decade of international experience and deserves all the awards he will be sweeping up this year. We’ll talk about him some more shortly…
Runners Up: Carlos Mané (Fantastic impact in 2014), André Carrillo (Still capable of brilliance), Eric Dier (Solid whenever he’s played in defence, not so in midfield)
2013: André Martins
2012: Ricky van Wolfswinkel

B-Team Player of the Season: Ricardo Esgaio – Surely next season he will make his break through to the first team. Ricardo Esgaio once again was the top scorer for the B team with 16 goals in 39 matches in the Segunda Liga. An incredibly versatile player who turning 21 in just a few days time will surely be a part of the first team plans for next season.
Runners Up: Iuri Medeiros (Fantastic talent but with a possible attitude problem), Wallyson Mallmann (Really improved in 2014 and has been on the fringes of the first team), Rúben Semedo (Should be pushing for the first team next season)
2013: Ricardo Esgaio

Player of the Season: William Carvalho – Obviously. Sir William Carvalho has made the Primeira Liga his all season from his very first commanding performance against Arouca and has been brilliant in almost every single game since. Excellent strength, ball control, positioning, timing, and rapidly improving his passing with every game. The only wonder now is whether he will stay for Champions League football next season or whether he will move onto to another club for big money.
Runners Up: Adrien Silva (Finally becoming the player he looked liked he would be. Deserves to be on the plane to Brazil), Cédric Soares (Well deserved first Portugal appearance, another huge improvement), Jefferson (Solid every single game)
2013: Rui Patrício
2012: Rui Patrício

January 2014 Transfer Window Round-Up

It was a busy transfer window for Sporting that went right to the last few seconds, here’s recap of the comings and goings of the January window:

Transfers In:

The transfer of Shikabala was completed just seconds before the closing of the transfer window. The terms with the player had been agreed early on in the day and the player had passed a medical before the transfer looked off due to complications with the player’s former club, Zamalek. Sporting were able to just make the transfer of the mercurial Egyptian playmaker in time with Sporting to pay approximately €500,000 to the club.

Shikabala has a contract until 2018 with a transfer release clause of €45,000,000 and will early the number 7 shirt.

Earlier on in the day Sporting also completed the transfer of Héldon Ramos from Marítimo for a fee of €1,400,000. An earlier bid by Sporting for both Héldon and Rúben Ferreira was turned down by Marítimo but the club were able to secure the transfer on deadline day.

Héldon has a contract until 2019 with a the familiar release clause of €45,000,000 and will be wearing the number 20 shirt.

Sticking with Marítimo, Sporting also agreed terms with Leocísio Sami to join the club for free at the beginning of the new season. Sami is out of contract with Marítimo this year but no word yet on the details of the contract.

That’s not all for what was a busy transfer deadline day, as Matías Pérez joined up with the B team. The Paraguayan central-defender from Club National will be on loan for 18 months at the club with Sporting have an option to buy in the future.

One big deal that was overshadowed perhaps was the completion of Fredy Montero’s transfer from Seattle Sounders. There was plenty of speculation that another club could snap up the Colombian forward but Sporting have made the deal permanent.

Elsewhere there was  the surprise signing of Ousmane Dramé on a free transfer from Padova to reinforce the B team. He will be another attacking option after the signing of Lewis Enoh from Sourense was completed just before the transfer window opened.

There was no departure for wantaway midfielder Elias with the club failing to agree terms with Flamengo and other interested clubs. For now the player is eligible to play for Sporting but that seems an unlikely outcome, the player will still be training with the B team, and it is likely that he can still move to Brazil where the season doesn’t begin until March.

Victor Golas also returns from his uneventful loan spell at Corona Braşov and will likely fight for his B team spot with Mickaël Meira and Luís Ribeiro.

Transfers Out:

The two big departures of the winter window were that of Jeffrén Suárez and Zakaria Labyad.

The former has rescinded his contract to join Real Valladolid. The club will save a massive €7.2m in future contracts to the player.

The latter, Labyad, was loaned out to Dutch club Vitesse where he will spend 18 months on loan with the club again saving money from the Moroccan’s wages.

A deal that was the most mutual was that of Fabián Rinaudo going on loan to Italian side Catania. The Argentine midfielder was finding it difficult to play any football due to the supreme season of William Carvalho. The midfielder was rewarded with a new contract as Sporting wish to keep hold of the midfielder if possible.

The only other permanent deal away from the club was that of Alexandre Guedes who joined Catalan club Reus Deportiu but there were plenty of other loan deals:

João Mário and Betinho to Vitória de Setúbal
Diogo Salomão to Deportivo de La Coruña
Salim Cissé to Arouca
Tobias Figueiredo to Reus Deportiu
Nuno Reis to Cercle Brugge

So it was in all a successful winter break for Sporting. The money saved from the wages of Zakaria Labyad and Jeffrén Suárez covering all of the signings into the club with some leftover.