It’s time for the Premier League to start looking at André Silva more seriously. Especially Arsenal.
With Arsene Wenger repeatedly sending scouts to watch Porto over the past year or so, he’ll be very aware of Silva, and what the youngster is achieving.
Despite not being in the spotlight as much as some young stars at Lisbon clubs, the 21-year-old is proving himself a talent to be watched.
After some experience in Porto’s first squad last season, the player was officially promoted in the summer, and has been the club’s most lethal weapon since. In 39 games so far, Silva has already managed to score 20 goals and make 8 assists.
The youngster plays as a number nine, but besides the good goal record, he’s been showing he can do much more than put the ball in the back of the net.
His movement outside of the box has been vital as well. Silva has good speed and skill to create plays and counter-attacks, and often uses them to serve other teammates.
That would allow him to play along several forwards in the Premier League without having to fight for their places, as long as the managers allow him to play as a centre-forward or a second striker. For example, Silva could play with any of Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud or Theo Walcott, because he offers something extra to each.
Silva has also been succeeding with the national team, where he has five goals in five matches in World Cup qualifiers.
Cristiano Ronaldo is also a fan, telling RTP: “Since he started playing for Seleção, he’s been doing phenomenal work, not only for the goals, but for what he has accomplished.”
Up to now, Silva has been linked to Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, with the Gunners’ interest being the most reported in Portugal.
Although Portugal is a great showcase for talented players to move to top leagues, the fact they’re still one step behind in terms of quality sometimes means clubs are not so convinced to pay high asking prices.
Silva’s agent Jorge Mendes can surely find the player a way to a big club, but the €60m release clause is something Porto will see as a safety net. Wenger isn’t a big fan of Mendes, but has made it clear that wouldn’t get in the way of signing a top target.
With Arsenal continuing to watch Porto, Silva is almost certainly the most exciting option on the agenda, but likely the most expensive too.