Goncalo Cardoso is facing the start to the end of his time as a West Ham United player after joining FC Basel on an 18-month loan.
The Swiss Super League outfit have announced the capture of Cardoso having signed the 20-year-old on a deal that runs until the summer of 2022, after which Basel will have the option to purchase the defender.
Cardoso joined the Hammers in 2019 after the London Stadium natives agreed to pay his academy side Boavista €3m (£2.5m), in a move that could see the Liga NOS outfit make an additional €2m (£2m) in potential add-ons.
It is now somewhat unlikely that Cardoso will ever trigger the bonus clauses following his move to Basel, with the agreement dependent on the number of top-flight appearances the 20-year-old makes with the Irons.
Cardoso is yet to make his senior debut at the London Stadium, despite being a regular for the club’s Under 23s last season with 16 outings in the Premier League 2. He has since taken his record to 24 appearances in all competitions, with five sporadic reserve league outings and featuring thrice in the EFL Trophy this term.
The 6 ft 2 centre-half was not signed with the intentions of playing youth level football, with reports by football.london at the time of his arrival claiming West Ham planned to see Cardoso serve as fourth-choice under Manuel Pellegri and try to oust either Issa Diop or Fabian Balbuena.
West Ham fought off competition from Benfica, Inter Milan and SS Lazio for the then-teenager, who the club’s former Director of Football Mario Husillos claimed had “a lot of potential”, but their deal for the defender has clearly not paid off.
Now, Cardoso is facing the start to the end of his time as a West Ham player, with the Irons already agreeing deals that could see the former Portugal U20 international depart permanently should he manage to establish himself at Basel.
Pellegrini and his successor David Moyes have clearly never been won over by what the Boavista product could bring to the table in east London, with Cardoso’s “dream come true” move turning out to be a nightmare.
Even in the U23s, minutes were less this season than they were last term, with Cardoso omitted from seven of the Irons’ last nine PL2 squads. If he is or was to ever displace Diop, Balbuena or Angelo Ogbonna and now Craig Dawson in the first-team, he had to be a mainstay of Dmitri Halajko’s side at the very minimum.
All in, Husillos wasted at least £4.25m with the capture of Cardoso having also awarded him a £23,000-per-week contract, which may now never return West Ham a single second of first-team action as the start to the end has crept into sight.
AND in other news, GSB may rue missed West Ham deal for “excellent” 10-goal striker…