All in Abroad

Top five best Portuguese signings of the season

Several Portuguese players were on the move over the last year - and here’s a look at the 5 best Portuguese signings of them all.

Before we get into the selected top 5, let’s take a look at some of the honourable mentions that didn’t quite make the cut.

Honourable mentions…

Just missing out on the list is Wolves shot-stopper Rui Patricio. You could say he probably comes in at number 6, just behind the top 5 players selected. A very strong season from the shot stopper, who has only really come under criticism for his distribution with Wolves. However, having seen his impeccable long-range passing for Portugal at the Nations League, you see that perhaps that issue is simply due to Wolves’ system, because no doubt his passing is actually much better than we’ve seen for the English club so far.

In any case, he has been a big performer for Wolves; playing in 37 of their league matches this season, he pulled off several top-quality saves that earned Wolves a good handful of points throughout the season. An excellent display against Manchester City early in the season, including a phenomenal save against Raheem Sterling, earned his side an impressive point, while his tremendous save from Paul Pogba’s free-kick is also etched in the minds of Wolves fans. That’s not to mention his long-distance saves against both Arsenal and Spurs, or his excellent stop against West Ham to scoop out a chipped Michail Antonio header to the back post. And who could forget his double save against Crystal Palace? So many great moments to look back on for Patricio.

Also on the very edge of making the top 5 is William Carvalho. He didn’t actually didn’t have the best of seasons with Real Betis by his very high standards; far from bad by any means, but when we’re used to seeing him perform at such a top level for the national team, we’ve come to expect even more from William.

The Andalusia side haven’t seemed to use him as effectively as Portugal have, and their league position come the end of the season could serve as testament to that. But he’s a phenomenal midfielder and, under the right manager and in the right system, he would prove an outstanding player for a side like Betis.

William was always expected to leave Sporting and Portugal at some point in his career, but he was always expected to go to one of the giants of European football - be it a side at the top end of Spanish, Italian or English football. Betis pulled off quite the coup in bringing in the 27-year old midfielder, and he should prove an excellent signing in the coming years, should he stick around.

Now, onto the top 5:

5. Bruno Alves (Parma)

4. Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City)

3. Jose Fonte (Lille)

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

1. Joao Moutinho (Wolves)

It seems foolish to put any player above Cristiano Ronaldo, but we can’t get over the fact that the midfield maestro only cost Wolverhampton Wanderers a measly £5million.

The third most capped Portuguese player in history is a national legend, and his move to Wolves was in itself greeted with some surprise, but the low fee was what really shocked the country - and for the sheer value for money, he has to be considered the greatest signing of them all from this year - perhaps from the past several years.

To give some context, Nainggolan, aged 30 at the time, cost Inter Milan what is estimated to be in the region of £35million; Arturo Vidal, 31, cost Barcelona approximately £16million last summer; Paulinho, aged 29, cost Barcelona £35million in the summer of 2017. A 31-year old Moutinho? £5million.

Moutinho ultimately played in at least part of all of Wolves’ 38 Premier League matches last campaign, starting 35 of them. An instrumental member of Wolves midfield, the club’s faithful immediately took to the 32-year old, and it seems fair to say that they are still in awe at the fact that Moutinho represents their club.

The double European champion for Portugal, one of only 9 Portuguese players that can claim that honour, is our Portuguese signing of the year.