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.

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Weekend Rond-Up: Sporting beat Arouca, B team wins and more…

A look back at another bumper weekend for Sporting. Both teams turned out victors with fine margins. Meanwhile there were developments for Vítor Silva and Rúben Semedo.

Sporting left it late to pick up their first win of the season at home to Arouca. Carlos Mané scored from close range after Junya Tanaka’s shot rebounded of the post. Meanwhile Nani’s first game back at Sporting resulted in a missed penalty.

Marco Silva was without the suspended William Carvalho so Oriol Rosell dropped into defensive midfield whilst Naby Sarr kept his place alongside Maurício in defence. Ricardo Esgaio started ahead of the injured Cédric Soares and Nani went straight into the starting XI along side André Carrillo.

The game was certainly much tougher than their first game at the Alvalade last season, also against Arouca, when they ran out 5-1 winners.

Arouca goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea was the star of the first half keeping out Fredy Montero excellent on two occasions.

There were improvements in the second half and the game’s major controversial moment came in 63rd minute when Sporting won a penalty. Adrien Silva was set to take the penalty as usual until Nani insisted that he take the penalty to try and score on his return. However the winger’s penalty saved by the impressive Goicoechea to give Nani an awkward start on his return from Portugal.

It seemed like Arouca and Goicoechea were going to be able to continue to keep Sporting at bay if not go on and score themselves but Sporting left it late to grab the winner. Marco Silva must be given credit for his gung-ho tactics with Sporting ending the game in the unorthodox 4-1-5 formation.

A Jefferson cross found debutant substitute Junya Tanaka in space in the 3rd minute of extra time.. The Japanese forward’s snap shot hit the post but Carlos Mané pounced on the rebound to give Sporting the winner.

The late win should give Marco Silva’s team confidence ahead of the next game against Benfica at the Luz on Sunday.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Ricardo Esgaio, Maurício, Naby Sarr, Jefferson (YC); Oriol Rosell (Carlos Mané, 46′, Scored 90+3, YC), Adrien Silva (YC), André Martins (Diego Capel, 76′); Nani (Junya Tanaka, 77′, YC), André Carrillo, Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Paulo Oliveira, Jonathan Silva, João Mário

Sporting B also ran out winners with Ousmane Dramé getting the only goal in a 1-0 victory away to Olhanense.

The French forward diverted a low Daniel Podence cross into the goal in the 53rd minute.

Olhanense were reduced to 10-men in the 60th minute when former Sporting youngster Pedro Celestino received his second yellow card.

The teams were even when 81st minute goalscorer Dramé received a straight red card.

Late into the game Francisco Barão gave a professional debut for youngster Gelson Martins when the 19-year old came on as a substitute for Lewis Enoh.

The result moves Sporting B up to 6th in the Segunda Liga.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro (YC); Mauro Riquicho, Sambinha, Tobias Figueiredo (YC), Mica Pinto; Fabrice Fokobo, Wallyson Mallmann, Ryan Gauld (Iuri Medeiros, 66′); Daniel Podence (YC) (Filipe Chaby, 75′), Lewis Enoh (Gelson Martins, 90+2′), Ousmane Dramé (Scored, 53′) (RC)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Domingos Duarte, João Palhinha, Jorge Santos

Today Sporting announced two players moving to CF Reus Deportiu. It seems Sporting has close ties with the Catalonia club after Alexandre Guedes transferred permanently to Reus last season as well as Tobias Figueiredo spend a loan spell there.

Vítor Silva has made a permanent transfer to the Segunda División B club representing a large step down for the 30-year old midfielder. The transfer is without a free but should Reus sell on for more than €300,000 than Sporting will be due 25% of the fee.

Also Rúben Semedo has moved to the club on loan for the season with the Spanish club playing the player’s wages in full. The defender has had his share of off-field problems, most recently with a training ground bust-up with Lewis Enoh, so a loan move away is certainly a good option for the club.

Finally it seems Islam Slimani’s future with Sporting may have been resolved. The Algerian forward returned to first-team training today and could feature in the squad to face Benfica next weekend.

Weekend Round-Up: Draw against Académica, Sporting B win, Marcos Rojo Speaks

It was a busy weekend for Sporting fans with the first team finally returning to action, albeit in disappointing circumstances.

Sporting we’re 1-0 up until the 90th minute before Rafael Lopes equalised for Académica. Sporting were not helped by William Carvalho who was sent off midway through the second half.

Marco Silva’s line-up was not far away from what would be considered Sporting’s “strongest” XI albeit with Naby Sarr making his debut replacing the suspended Macros Rojo. Fredy Montero also started ahead of the suspended Islam Slimani.

Sporting started off well and found their goal in the 15th minute when Jefferson floated in a fantastic cross that found the head of André Carrillo. The Peruvian winger headed down onto the post and into the net.

There were concerns for Sporting near the end of the half when Cédric Soares took a knock. The right-back managed to play on until half-time but was then replaced by another debutant, Oriol Rosell playing out of position at right-back. Marco Silva did have Ricardo Esgaio in his squad for the trip to Coimbra but not on the substitutes bench.

Sporting looked fairly comfortable until the 66th minute when William Carvalho received his second yellow card. The midfielder had looked out of sorts through out most of the game with an alarming amount of his passes going astray.

Marco Silva gave a debut to Paulo Oliveira not long after to try and sure up Sporting’s defence but they could only hold out until the 90th minute when Rafael Lopes struck well to earn Académica a point.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares (Oriol Rosell, 45′), Maurício, Naby Sarr, Jefferson; William Carvalho (YC, RC), Adrien Silva, André Martins (Paulo Oliveira, 72′); André Carrillo, Héldon Ramos (Diego Capel, 62′), Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, João Mário, Carlos Mané, Junya Tanaka

Sporting B however faired better with their game as they won 3-1 at home to Santa Clara.

Francisco Barão was without Rúben Semedo who was suspended for an altercation with Lewis Enoh last week.

It was the Cameroonian Enoh who opened the scoring when he finished a cross from Ricardo Esgaio.

Sporting were caught out for Santa Clara’s equaliser as a short corner found the defence flat-footed only for Materazzi to find himself in acres of space to make it 1-1 at half-time.

The B team improved greatly after the break and looked far more threatening than they did during the first half. Despite that though they found it difficult to break through the Santa Clara defence.

It looked like the B team were set to copy the first team’s scoreline until just 5 minutes before the end when Tobias Figueiredo headed home. The lead was doubled just minutes later this time by substitute Filipe Chaby.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro; Ricardo Esgaio, Sambinha (YC), Tobias Figueiredo (Scored, 85′), Mica Pinto; Fabrice Fokobo (Mauro Riquicho, 59′), Wallyson Mallmann, Ryan Gauld (Filipe Chaby, 83′, Scored, 90+3′); Daniel Podence (Iuri Medeiros, 62′, YC), Ousmane Dramé, Lewis Enoh (Scored, 18′)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Domingos Duarte, João Palhinha, Jorge Santos

Marcos Rojo appeared on Sporting TV and apologised for his recent conduct that led to his suspension. The Argentine defender failed to turn up to training leading to a huge bust up between the club and Doyen Sports.

Rojo said “I’m sorry for what happened because I feel that I was unprofessional. Now I will try to correct the situation.”

The defender also denied a rumoured physical confrontation between himself and Bruno de Carvalho.

“Tomorrow I return to work with the squad, with my companions, and this is the most important and what we really like to do.”

Rojo did not rule out an eventual transfer away but stated he would like such a deal to be beneficial for both himself and the club. “But let me make it clear that I am very happy at the club, I love the way they treat me.”

Sporting Win the Taça de Honra 2014

Sporting won the Taça de Honra in the competitions 100th anniversary after comfortably beating Benfica in the final 1-0.

Before getting to the final Sporting had to beat Belenenses as the Estádio do Restelo. Two goals in the space of 3 minutes gave Sporting a 2-0 lead in the first half. First a fantastic strike by Wilson Eduardo before a great freekick from André Martins.

Sporting had the most of the first half but the game changed in the second with both sides making plenty of substitutions including a first appearance for Simeon Slavchev. Belenenses pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute through an André Geraldes own goal but Sporting went through in the end.

SPORTING XI vs. Belenenses: Marcelo Boeck; Cédric Soares (André Geraldes, 45′), Maurício (Paulo Oliveira, 46′), Eric Dier, Jefferson (Mica Pinto, 60′); Oriol Rosell (Rúben Semedo, 60′), Adrien Silva (Simeon Slavchev, 46′), André Martins (Scored, 33′) (João Mário, 46′); Wilson Eduardo (Scored, 30′) (Carlos Mané, 46′), André Carrillo (Diego Capel, 46′), Fredy Montero (Junya Tanaka, 46′)
Substitutes Not Used: Luís Ribeiro, Vítor Silva, Shikabala, Ryan Gauld, Héldon Ramos, Salim Cissé

So Sporting went on to face Benfica in the final after Benfica defeated Estoril in their game. With the departure of Wilson Eduardo to Dinamo Zagreb earlier today Marco Silva brought in Diego Capel in another wise unchanged line-up.

Sporting started the better over Benfica but it took a while before Sporting created any chances. André Carrillo hit the post midway through the first half but it took until the 42nd minute for Sporting to find the night. A mistake from João Teixeira in midfield mend Sporting could break and André Carrillo found space down the right. The Peruvian crossed for André Martins to finish from close range.

The goal proved to be enough with Benfica creating very little in the second half where as Sporting were for the most part comfortable in possession and perhaps should have doubled their lead. Certainly Fredy Montero had a great chance to after a glorious pass from Adrien Silva.

One goal was enough in the end for Sporting to win the Taça de Honra and get pre-season off to an excellent start.

Before being handed the trophy Marcelo Boeck, who captained the side on both occasions, was awarded best goalkeeper of the tournament and André Martins top goalscorer.

News Round-Up: 14/07/14

Sporting kicked off their pre-season campaign with a win against an Azores XI on Saturday in Ponta Delgada and captured the Troféu Pedro Pauleta.

The game marked a first win for new coach Marco Silva and a whole host of first games for many of the new signings. Shikabala opened the scoring for Sporting in impressive style in the second-half before Santa Clara forward Hélder Arruda equalised just 2 minutes later. Sporting wrapped up the win with a Wilson Eduardo goal later on.

Marco Silva’s first XI was – Marcelo Boeck; Cédric Soares, Maurício, Eric Dier, Jefferson; Oriol Rosell, Adrien Silva, André Martins; Carlos Mané, André Carrillo, Fredy Montero.

After the break there was a huge amount of changes with Marco Silva swapping his entire outfield team. André Geraldes, Paulo Oliveira, Tobias Figueiredo, Mica Pinto, João Mário, Shikabala, Vítor Silva, Wilson Eduardo, Diego Capel and Junya Tanaka. Later on in the game also saw the introductions of Ryan Gauld and Héldon Ramos – only substitute goalkeeper Guilherme Oliveira didn’t feature.

Elsewhere, in case you’ve been living under a rock, the World Cup final finished with Marcos Rojo on the eventual losing side though the Argentinian had a great tournament.

In transfer rumours Eric Dier is being strongly linked with Newcastle United. O Jogo claiming the proposed transfer is “imminent”. Dier’s contract runs out in 2016 and it seems the defender is looking to move away from Sporting.

Islam Slimani’s racking up plenty of rumours with Leicester City the latest club to be linked with the Algerian striker.

Sporting have been linked with the signing of FC Twente winger Jerson Cabral. Cabral, of Cape Verdean descent, currently features for the Netherlands U21 side.

Finally, Record says that Valentín Viola and Salim Cissé have both been dropped down to the B team. Salim Cissé is perhaps likely to get on loan and whilst Viola homes to affirm his place in the Sporting team it looks like he may well be leaving the club soon.

Marco Silva Unveiled As Sporting Manager

Marco Silva was officially presented as the new Sporting manager at a press conference at the Alvalade tonight. The former Estoril manager has been given a 4 year contract which will begin on June 1st.

Silva said at the conference “Thanks to the president, who placed confidence in me and my work. Another thanks to Sporting, the honour and pride it gives me to be in this great club.”

“Wanting to be champions at Sporting is natural for greatness, history, culture and responsibility is to represent this club.”

“I took the decision not to renew with Estoril for wanting to take on another challenge – to be able to evolve.”

“The ambition here can only be win, win, win …”

Meanwhile club president Bruno de Carvalho said, “Sporting has a project, a well-defined direction. I think some people are inattentive, some within the club, but we have a project that is based on rigour, competence, ambition and, above all, stability, something we want as policy framework.”

“Marco fell within the our profile and would be the leader of our football design on one hand and on the other it was understood that creating stability, hence the last four years.”

Sporting Set to Announce New Manager at 19:45

Sporting are set to unveil Marco Silva in a press conference at the Alvalade tonight at 19:45.

Marco Silva is thought to have agreed a deal with the club weeks ago but Sporting were waiting until Leonardo Jardim’s situation with AS Monaco was finalised. Marco Silva took over at Estoril in 2011 leading them immediately to the Primeira Liga in his first season but two fantastic Primeira Liga seasons saw them finish an impressive 5th in the 2012/2013 and 4th in 2013/2014 seasons. Notably, Marco Silva’s Estoril also ended Porto’s impressive 6 year home record with a 1-0 win at the Dragão earlier in the year. According to Correio de Manhã the coach is set to accept a 4-year contract with Sporting.

In other news, over shadowed by Leonardo Jardim’s exit, Sporting announced that they will not be keeping on Welder, Iván Piris or Gérson Magrão. Neither of the players impressed too much although Piris was perhaps the best of the bunch.

Elsewhere A Bola is reporting Catania will be traveling to Lisbon today to try and negotiate a deal to retain Fabián Rinaudo who spent the second half of the season on loan at the club.

News Round-Up 13/5

All three of the Portuguese daily sports papers are going with the story of AS Monaco looking to bring in Leonardo Jardim to replace Claudio Ranieri. The Italian has guided the cash-rich club from Ligue 2 to 2nd place in Ligue 1 but rumours are mounting that Monaco will instead be hiring Jardim. Record say that should they do so Sporting will be entitled to €3 or €5m in compensation depending on which article you read. RTP state that they think Jardim’s departure to Monaco will be announced within the next few hours.

Should the Jardim to Monaco deal go through it seems Sporting have their replacement ready made in Marco Silva. Silva guided Estoril to a very impressive 4th position this year but has refused to renew his contract with the club adding to the rumours.

Monaco aren’t the only club interesting in the services of Leonardo Jardim, the manager has also been linked with jobs at Tottenham Hotspur and PAOK.

Elsewhere, Fabián Rinaudo expects to continue playing in Italy. The Argentine midfielder has been on loan at Catania where the club have an option of buying the player for €5m. It seems to the club can’t afford the figure so another loan deal maybe likely.

Wilson Eduardo is wanted by… Angola. The forward was born in Portugal but is eligible to play for Angola despite playing for Portugal at U21 level.

Sticking with international news Iuri Medeiros and Rúben Semedo have been called up to Portugal’s U20 squad for the 2014 Toulon Tournament. They could face teammate Eric Dier who has been selected for England’s team.

Meanwhile there are 4 players called up for Portugal’s U19 team with Hélio Sousa naming Mauro Riquicho, João Palhinha, Gelson Martins and Domingos Duarte.