“The Academy Of Football”, West Ham are known for producing young talent including Michael Carrick, Frank Lampard and most recently Declan Rice, however do they have a new defender in their ranks in the form of Goncalo Cardoso.
Portugal has emerged in the past twenty years as a haven for talent, Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Bruno Fernandes and Ruben Neves have all come through the youth ranks in the country.
With West Ham having defensive issues this season, they could turn to one of their youngsters Goncalo Cardoso. The 19-year-old came through the youth ranks of Boavista before making 15 appearances for the first team, West Ham snatched him up in the summer for a rumoured £2.7m and added him to their youth setup.
Angelo Ogbonna, Fabian Balbuena, Issa Diop and even Declan Rice have all fulfilled the centre back role this season. The duo of Ogbonna and Diop seem to be the Irons most effective, between them both they have hit the back of the net six times.
Cardoso has played at international level for the Portugal under 19’s and under 20’s level and has scored three goals in five appearances. Premier League 2, one of the under-23 leagues, is where Cardoso has been playing since he joined the East London side.
Playing a total of 16 games, he has scored one goal and picked up two assists which indicates his willingness to go forward with the ball, something that all three natural defenders at the club fail to do.
Young defenders very rarely break through youth ranks of Premier League clubs and are often sent out on loan. However, with Cordoso being captain in the Portuguese youth ranks, he has the elements to become a future captain and lead the back line.
If West Ham manage to avoid relegation before the final day of the season, Cardoso could be one of the youngsters alongside Alfie Lewis and Barnodo Rosa to make a start for the first team.
Being young though could see him get overlooked for someone with more experience in the team, this could lead to a new defender being bought in the next transfer window, Cardoso is 100% a talent to watch in the future.
What are your thoughts on Goncalo Cardoso, Hammers fans?