The Portuguese midfielder had solidified his first team spot at Benfica and is one of the most highly rated players around Europe right now despite being only 20 years-old. So who is Gonçalo Guedes and why his move to Paris Saint Germain could be brilliant for the player and Paris alike.
He broke into the Benfica team as a teenager
Goncalo Guedes was signed by SL Benfica back in 2005 at the very young age of 9 years old. He had to be patient at his time in the Benfica whilst he broke through the junior team and into the Benfica B team when he made his first professional debut in the 2013/14 season.
His qualities were obvious to onlookers already at that stage in his career and as a result he was called up to the first team for his childhood club in 2014 and went on to complete 39 appearances for SL Benfica.
He has been dubbed the “Next Christiano Ronaldo”
Its fair to say Guedes is not the first Portuguese youngster to be compared to arguably the countries best ever player, but Guedes certainly has a solid argument on his side. His “Whirlwind” style of play is certainly entertaining to watch. Similarly, he is extremely focused and hard working individual, with an amazing burst of pace and high tempo approach can all draw comparisons to the three time Ballon D’or winner.
He won Segunda Liga’s Breakthrough Player of the Year
During his spell playing for SL Benfica B in the second tier of Portuguese football, Guedes played 38 matches, scoring 11 times in that period. Despite not being the greatest of goalscorers, he really stood out and everyone involved in the football club knew his qualities were too good to be playing in the the Segunda Liga and was consequently called up to the main team. This was a massive achievement for the patient teenager and on top of that, he was acknowledged when he was awarded as the best breakthrough player of the year.
He was in very high in demand
At 20 years of age, its hard not to see a bright future for Goncalo Guedes. This, alongside his admirable work rate and technique, made him one of the most wanted players in Europe this transfer window. He certainly announced himself across Europe biggest clubs when he scored the winner in a shock 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid last season.
Paris Saint Germain can consider themselves very fortunate and privileged in their purchase of the Portuguese talent. Manchester United were the major rivals for Les Parisiens in the search for Guedes’ signature but a lot of the praise can be given to Kluivert if he turns out to a be a success at Paris over time.
His versatility will benefit Paris Saint Germain greatly
Goncalo Guedes seems to naturally be a winger at SL Benfica and has played in that position during his brief international career as well. However, Benfica’s main striker Jonas has been out injured all season, which gave Guedes a chance to play up centrally, with considerable success as well.
This open attitude and versatility to his game could make him a very valuable asset following his move. He could either play up front in replacement for the heavily reliant Cavani, put pressure on the likes of Lucas, Draxler and Di Maria in the wide areas; or even play in the preferred three man midfield.
Although it may be hard for the Portuguese international to break into the successful side immediately, there is no doubting his attitude and I believe this will make him a very successful signing for Paris Saint Germain.