There were high hopes when West Ham signed Goncalo Cardoso in 2019 but on deadline day the Portuguese defender’s nightmare spell at the club finally came to an end.
However, that dream quickly turned into a nightmare for the centre-back, as he failed to make a single first-team appearance during his time at the London Stadium, also enduring disappointing loan spells at FC Basel and Real Betis.
He had previously been a regular for Boavista in the Portuguese top flight as a teenager, so it is a surprise that he was never given a chance with the Hammers, but he clearly wasn’t rated by those in charge.
Cardoso was finally able to get a permanent move away from West Ham on deadline day as he completed a move to Maritimo, where he will hopefully be able to reignite his career in his home country.
It is unclear how much West Ham received for the 21-year-old but it seems unlikely that they will recoup the money paid for him three years ago, which emphasises that he was a real waste of a signing by GSB.
Upon his signing, the West Ham director of football Mario Husillos said: “Our scouts in Portugal have watched his development very closely for some time now and we are very happy to have secured his transfer.
“He has made excellent progress at both club and international level, playing for Portugal in the European Under-19 Championship final this summer.
“He is of course a player for the future, with a lot of potential in front of him, but we feel he is ready to be with the first team squad from both a physical and technical point of view.”
It seems remarkable therefore that West Ham scouted him for so long and felt he was ready to make an impact but he was never afforded a single minute of senior football at the club, so for him to leave after no appearances in three years emphasises how much of a disaster his signing was.