It is no surprise to hear Manchester City being linked with every other player in the World. The modern market of crafty agents means you never know who to believe when these rumours surface. However, if City fans are to be excited by one of the most recent rumours, it will surely be that of Oscar Cardozo.
At 26 years of age, the Paraguayan striker could be called a late bloomer. None the less, it has been worth the wait for Benfica fans. Tacuara, as he is known due to his tall lanky physique, has been in blistering form this season with 18 goals in 21 games.
Everton fans will remember his two goals in as many minutes as Benfica secured a 5-0 victory in their Europa League tie last October. He is currently second highest scorer in the competition and will be hoping to add to that tally of eight in helping his team past Marseille.
Renowned as a free-kick specialist, Cardozo is starting to make a name for himself after a slow starting career. He was barely known in Argentina when he joined Newell’s Old Boys at the request of Argentine coach Nery Pumpido. Pumpido had worked with the striker in a short stint as manager of Paraguay and he proved a revelation in Argentina. He scored a number of high-profile goals and formed a solid partnership with fellow countryman Santiago Salcedo.
If he can do anything similar at City with Roque Santa Cruz then the Eastland’s faithful will be praising the land of Paraguay. Having said that, his style of play is very reminiscent of Santa Cruz. Big, strong and very good in the air, Cardozo has thrived of the services of Angel Di Maria and Pablo Aimar.
He was named Paraguayan footballer of the year in both 2006 and 2009 and is being heavily tipped to take that title again this year if his current form continues. The player is reportedly attracting interest from a number of European clubs including Everton but it is likely that, with a 60million Euro release clause, it is a transfer that would appeal more to the likes of City.
Speaking to the mirror, his agent Pedro Aldave said: “Benfica may sell but for the best price, which is normal. If he goes, then it will be to a big club. I’ve had interest from all over Europe, but Spain or England is most likely.”
Let the summer bidding begin!