This article is part of Football FanCast’s In The Pipeline series, which takes a look at some of the most promising young talent either linked with clubs or emerging from their academies…
Most of the time, a new signing is made to be of immediate benefit to the first-team, but it looks like the east Londoners had the future in mind when they completed one summer signing.
18-year-old centre-back Goncalo Cardoso was signed from Portuguese outfit Boavista in a deal worth a reported £2.75m, and he looks to be a real prospect.
The teenager’s first seven starts for Boavista saw him help the team record five clean sheets in the Primeira Liga, with only Portuguese giants Sporting and Porto finding a way past the talented youngster’s outfit.
Cardoso played in every minute of Portugal’s journey to the final of the European Under-19 Championship this summer, proving his pedigree in marshalling some of Europe’s best young forwards throughout the tournament. Portugal kept three clean sheets in five games and only Spain were able to breach their defensive unit.
It’s also clear just how highly-rated the teenage centre-back is by the fact that Italian giants Inter Milan also held an interest in signing him before the Hammers managed to snap him up.
Manuel Pellegrini has recently said that Cardoso is not ready for first-team football yet, and he has been spending his time in east London so far playing with the Under-23 side.
However, on the basis of his development thus far, there is definitely enough evidence to suggest that the young Portuguese defender could potentially challenge for a first-team place in the near future.
The Portugal Under-19 star who clearly has bundles of talent just has to remain patient and bide his time for a chance.