Things are going well in Portugal. Despite a potentially difficult first-season, we have progressed through it unscathed. In the following post we will go through all of our Porto squads and take a look through our developing youngsters.
Over the course of the series I’ll be starting each end of season post with an update on our homegrown progress. In the table below you can see how each of our squad is looking in terms of it’s homegrown players.
|TEAM||PLAYERS||HG PLAYERS||HG PERCENTAGE|
As you can see, the Porto squad we inherited have so many players, several of which are away from the club on loan. This means that the summer of 2017 will be a huge summer for us as we’ll need to have a clearout of most of the non-HG talent.
Although the aim of this series is to produce an entirely homegrown club, it would be unwise to sell all of our non-HG players as in doing so we could jeopardize our position as manager.
Unfortunately we finished 4th in the league with Vit. Setubal taking third place. We ended the season on an unbeaten streak of twelve games, losing just four in the season. But it was our inability to turn draws into wins that let us down.
It means that next year we’ll be entering the EURO Cup instead of the luxurious Champions League.
After a brilliant win over Inter Milan my hopes were high for a strong performance in the Euro Cup, and my spirits were raised when we were drawn against Ajax. But a terrible home performance in the first leg condemned us to defeat, crashing out at the 2nd Round stage.
We lost in the Taca de Portugal 6th Round (the equivalent of the FA Cup) but managed to win the Portuguese League Cup. This piece of silverware was crucial to our season, and although we only just scraped victory against Second Division Portimonense, we can be pleased with the trophy.
- Andre Silva: 27
- Otavio: 15
- Lucas Alario: 10
- Andre Silva: 12
- Jesus Corona: 9
- Alex Telles: 8
- Otavio: 46 (7)
- Iker Casillas: 44
- Andre Silva: 41 (4)
A brilliant season for our reserve team saw them win the league comfortably. This is the second tier in Portugal so to win is an impressive feat and good signs for our club moving forward.
- Rui Pedro: 16
- Areias: 12
- Ismael Diaz: 11
- Areias: 13
- Ruben Macedo: 9
- Wenderson Galeno: 8
- Joris Kayembe: 42
- Rodrigo Soares: 39
- Chidozie Awaziem: 38
Our young stars won their league comfortably, losing just one game. The impressive season saw our youngsters concede just ten goals throughout the season, highlighting our strong defence with the likes of Diogo Queiros performing well at the back.
- Leandro Campos: 17
- Vasco Paciencia: 13
- Miguel Magalhaes: 12
- Afonso Sousa: 15
- Miguel Magalhaes: 15
- Leandro Campos: 12
- Leandro Campos: 30 (2)
- Miguel Magalhaes: 28 (7)
- Afonso Sousa: 27 (4)
As mentioned earlier, although this is a homegrown challenge, I will be bringing players into the club who I feel can make a difference now where there are no younger HG players who could make a similar impact.
Cheick Tiote was our first signing, coming in for a small fee of £2.7M. He played fairly regularly over the season, making 22 appearances in all competitions as he played back-up to Danilo Pereira.
Next came Luc Castaignos, a pacey Dutch forward, who scored 7 league goals in 19 matches. He often played second fiddle to Andre Silva (and later Lucas Alario) but was a good backup to have. I anticipate the likes of Leandro Campos to push Luc out of the Porto side over the coming season.
In January we made two signings. Lucas Alario is our best signing to date. The Argentine forward scored 10 goals in 17 starts for Porto since joining from River.
Erik Durm came in as a backup right or left back and played 14 matches but underperformed with an average rating of just 6.77.
Without going through each and every sale, we made £73M in transfers over our first season. Most of which came from the sale of Algerian winger Yacine Brahimi. Yacine had made 13 assists in 26 matches for Porto. This prompted Tottenham to come in with a bid which was eventually negotiated up to £45M.
27 year-old Mexican Hector Herrera also left the club, moving to Celta Vigo for £16M.
Looking through our transfers leads nicely into our finances.
FC Porto are in debt. And a lot of it. We are currently making monthly payments of £658K to pay off three ongoing loans.
In terms of our financial situation, we have £12M in the bank as of June 2017, which is why our upcoming summer could be crucial to the success of this save moving forward. We’ll need to sell well to ensure we have enough money to make good investments and allow our team to succeed.
Here’s more FM Content that you may enjoy
- Paul Pogba as a Complete Forward
- Youth Development: FC Porto #2 | January 2017
- Youth Development: FC Porto #3 | March 2017
Youngster Progression and Player Development
Here is the section that a lot of you will be here to see. I will be running through several of our young players and seeing how they have progressed over my first year at the club.
Here are the players I will be looking at:
- Ruben Neves
- Ruben Macedo
- Diogo Verdasca
- Afonso Sousa
- Miguel Magalhaes
- Diogo Dalot
- Leandro Campos
- Diogo Costa
- Diogo Queiros
As you saw earlier, our club has 34 youngsters in the under 19’s. To add to this, our B-team has 13 HG talent that will be itching to grab their chance in the first XI. Therefore there maybe some players that I will not focus on today that develop faster and move into the first team.
Over the coming parts of Youth Development it will be good to see which players develop into first team regulars at Porto.
I won’t be producing GIFs for each of these players, firstly because it will make the page load slower and secondly because there won’t have been a lot of progression over one year.
But in the future we may see a whole post dedicated to young player GIFs.
Let’s start with our most promising youngster already in the first team.
A potential 8-year contract has been handed out to our star youngster. I’m delighted. Despite being out for 4 months this year with a damaged achilles tendon he bounced back to make 29 appearances over the season.
He managed to maintain his development despite said injury which is an encouraging sign. Let’s hope he can really push on in the coming years.
As highlighted by the contract extension, I fully expect Ruben Neves to be in our side for many years to come. He has been playing as a deep lying playmaker in the centre of the park and I doubt that this will change.
Ruben Macedo spent most of the season in the B-team, scoring ten and assisting nine in just 26 appearances. This form led to his promotion to the first team where he made 7 appearances in the league.
Ruben’s place in the first team in upcoming seasons depends on the formation we choose to play. He will be our first choice right winger for the season, however our primary formation will be a narrow 4-3-3.
I do anticipate him making many appearances as our secondary formation relies heavily on a creative right winger.
Diogo Verdasca became a rotational centre-back in the first team last year. He battled with the likes of Felipe, Ivan Marcano and Willy Boly for the centre-back position, making 25 starts in all competitions.
He will be our first-choice centre back moving forward as he has significant potential yet to fulfil.
Afonso Sousa is without doubt the player I am most excited about in our homegrown challenge. He could well be the star of the series moving forward.
As you can see, his development in one year is astounding and I’ll be looking to give him first-team minutes throughout next season.
Afonso was one of a few stars in the under 19’s title winning season, scoring ten and assisting fifteen goals in 31 appearances.
Miguel Magalhaes is, like Afonso Sousa, one of the star players in our under 19’s. Primarily a winger, he could struggle to break into the first-team squad due to the proposed narrow formation. But he could end up playing as a 2nd choice right winger behind Ruben Macedo.
He scored 12 and assisted 15 in a fantastic personal season. One to watch for the future.
Diogo Dalot is a right-back who went under the radar in our first season in charge. Nonetheless his development has led to a promotion to the first team in the upcoming season where he will battle with fellow homegrown youngster Fernando Fonseca for the right-back spot.
Leandro Campos’ 20 determination makes him stand out from the crowd. His poor jumping reach means he’ll never be a threat in the air upfront, but his pace makes up for this shortfall.
Campos contributed to 29 goals in the under 19’s this season, top scoring with 17. He will be battling for a place in the first-team this season and will fancy his chances due to the 3 striker formation being favoured by the manager.
Here is our future star goalkeeper Diogo Costa. You can see by the attribute graph his progression in all areas.
Costa kept eleven clean sheets in twenty under 19 appearances this season. He will be looking to make his mark in the B-team next season.
Diogo Queiros is a strong centre back who played 26 under 19 appearances this season, averaging a rating of 7.53 per match.
He may get several chances in the first team next season, but will largely be playing in the B-team.
In the league we have lost a Champions League spot due to the country’s poor performances in European competitions. This means that we have two teams who have a place in the CL with 3rd and 4th entering the Euro Cup.
I think we need to be targeting a 2nd place finish this year. We need Champions League football to really help our youngsters, Neves in particular, develop.
We will also be trying to increase the HG percentages in both our first xi and our B-team. Our B-team should end the 2017/2018 season with a HG percentage of 80% or higher.
It would also be good if we can get our first team HG percentage to above 50%.
Take a look at our Social Networks | Follow our Twitter or Like our Facebook Page
Thanks for reading what could well be the longest post here on vivalavidafm.com. The support I have received on this series, especially the first in the series, has been incredible.
Please don’t hesitate to put forward any suggestions to make this series better. Your help is essential in making this series a success.