Here is Part Five of our FC Porto Youth Development challenge. If this is the first post you are reading, feel free to catch up on the series so far by reading the previous post here.
We’ll be taking a look through our youngsters in this post. Let’s start with our Under 19’s.
I’ve decided to speak about our young Goalkeeper Diogo Costa first. It is clear from the above GIF that he has improved significantly since our post in January 2017.
He will be joining the Porto First-XI for several cup games for the rest of the season with a view to making him a more permanent member of the first team in years to come.
Miguel Magalhaes is having an outstanding season with the under 19’s so far this year. In just 20 starts he has made 23 assists from the right wing.
He is in an unfortunate position in that the first-team are currently not playing with wingers. As this is the case he won’t be getting as much first-team football as he perhaps could be. But if he continues to develop in the way that he has, he may well force a change in formation.
Here is Afonso Sousa, in my eyes the future of this save. He has developed very well since last January and will be looking to make his mark in the number of appearances he will be afforded with the first team this year.
Afonso has already made an impact in the first-xi, scoring two goals in the Europa League Group Stages, one of which being the winner against Zorya.
He has already made appearances for the Portuguese Under 21 side which is encouraging. Let’s hope that Afonso can continue to develop over the next few seasons.
The Under 19’s are leading the way in their league, remaining unbeaten so far this season.
- Vasco Paciencia: 17
- Leandro Campos: 16
- Miguel Magalhaes: 12
- Miguel Magalhaes: 23
- Jorge Teixeira: 8
- Fabio Vieira: 6
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In the last part of Youth Development, we showed how our B-Team had a homegrown percentage of 34%.
However a large portion of the non-HG percentage returned from loan over that summer, meaning that we could move them on.
As of January 2018, we have 32 players in our B-Team of which 25 are HG. That is a massive increase to 78%.
This guy is really pushing for a first team spot. He will be playing the remainder of our Cup matches this season after approaching me asking for more football.
Normally I react negatively to players asking for more first-team football, but with a promising youngster it is kind of nice to see. He has confidence in his ability to be a part of our first-xi. That’s encouraging.
Rui Pedro has started to break into the first team, scoring 4 goals in 12 appearances (6 starts). His progression was halted at the beginning of last year by a string of injuries, but he has made small progress and will hopefully push on from now.
He’s the B-Team’s top scorer so far this season with ten goals in 14 apps.
The B-team, perhaps hampered with the loss of many of their non-HG talent over the summer, have not yet reach the heights of last year. But 4th place is nothing to be scoffed at, and a strong ending to the season could see them move further up in the league.
We currently sit in 4th place in the Primeira Liga, behind Benfica, Braga and Sporting.
In the Europa League we will play Standard in the 1st Knockout Round.
Domestically we are into the Semi-Final of the Taca de Portugal after beating Benfica in the 6th Round. In the Portuguese League Cup we were knocked out in the 3rd Phase Group Stage.
Right-back Diogo Dalot came into the first-team at the beginning of the season and has been first-choice right back for the club, overtaking Fernando Fonseca for the position.
His development since January 2017 meant that, at eighteen years old, he is one of the brightest prospects at our club. He could be one of the players to be a part of this series for many years to come.
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Thanks for reading the first instalment of the 2017-2018 season with Porto. We’ll be hoping to really push on in the league whilst seeing the introduction of many youngsters in the cups.
If you enjoyed, feel free to share this post on your social networks. Let me know your thoughts on the series so far!