Hello and welcome to the latest post in Youth Development. You join us at the end of our third season with Porto as we aim to turn the Portuguese giants into a homegrown club.
At the end of 2018 we had 67% of our first team as homegrown players.
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This has now increased to 77%. And whilst our B-team had a slight decrease in their percentage, we can be pleased with the progress made by our first-team.
Let’s see how our three teams have performed in the 2018/19 season.
This season has seen a massive improvement in our league fortunes. We finished second, five points behind Benfica.
We were in the title race up until the penultimate game and at one point lead the race for the title but slipped up against Sporting.
We progressed further in the Europa League, reaching the Quarter Finals and being one goal away from the Semis.
We were beaten by Schalke 5-4 on aggregate.
We failed to win a domestic trophy again this year, meaning the goal of winning a cup, set in the previous year, was not met.
- Lucas Alario: 30
- Andrea Belotti: 22
- Andre Silva: 19
- Lucas Alario: 12
- Miguel Magalhaes: 11
- Andrea Belotti: 11
- Ruben Neves: 50 (1)
- Virgil van Dijk: 44
- Rafa Soares: 43 (1)
Our reserve side won the second tier of Portuguese football for the third time in four seasons. This truly shows the strength and depth we have at our club.
It would be interesting to see how our second team would perform in the top tier should that be allowed to happen.
- Leandro Campos: 14
- Michael Morais: 7
- Jorge Teixeira: 5
- Michael Morais: 11
- Ruben Macedo: 6
- Paulo Estrela: 5
- Leo: 38
- Bruno Costa: 37 (1)
- Jorge Fernandes: 37
And our Under 19’s won their league again for a third time in a row. We’ve been dominant with our youth squad throughout this series.
- Vasco Paciencia: 51
- Valter Cunha: 13
- Filipe Pinho: 8
51 goals in the season… Vasco Paciencia could well be moving into the first team over the coming season. Or perhaps a season with the B team would be better for his development. We shall see.
- Joao Mario: 19
- Vasco Paciencia: 14
- Filipe Pinho: 10
- Ruben Teixeira: 42 (4)
- Fabio Vieira: 42 (2)
- Joao Goncalo: 42 (1)
We made just the one signing in the 18/19 season as we brought in Victor Wanyama to the club. He played a large part of the season as our DM, sitting in front of Virgil van Dijk. What a partnership those two are, both have 20 in strength. Solid.
How much did we pay for him? An absolute bargain price of £5.5M from Paris Saint-Germain.
We let go both of our underwhelming signings in Erik Durm and Luc Castaignos for a combined fee of just over £10M. We also raised around £18M in selling Danilo Pereira and Andre Andre.
We are well within our wage budget and therefore could expect to see a larger growth in terms of our overall balance. But without the Champions League money over the last few seasons we’ve had to settle for Europa League money.
Should we remain in the Champions League in the coming season I would expect our balance to increase significantly.
Youngster Progression and Development
As stated in the previous end of season post in Youth Development, we will be using this section to focus on those youngsters who have made a profound step up to the first team.
Several youngsters made good strides in the top squad and we will be looking at them here.
Diogo Dalot made 43 appearances for the first team this year and has clearly cemented his spot in the team. He will hopefully be our right back moving forward for many years to come.
He made 4 assists this year with an average rating of 7.28.
Ruben Neves had a difficult start to his career in this save after suffering a long term injury in year one. His development has been stunted ever since and has failed to progress much towards his full potential.
He remains, however, a key member of our side and can hopefully push on in the years to come. He made the most appearances for us this season, starting 50 games and appearing off the bench once.
Oh Miguel. Our destructive winger has had a good season as our first choice right winger. He made 11 assists in his 39 appearances with an average rating of 7.27. He also scored 6 goals this year.
Afonso Sousa is perhaps the star of this series. He has developed into a trusted starter in our first team, starting 40 matches this year. He still has work to do in terms of his effectiveness in attack having only recorded six assists from an attacking midfield position, but this will come in time.
Afonso clearly has a lot of room for improvement and his development so far is highly encouraging.
- Champions League football
- Afonso Sousa, Miguel Magalhaes, Rui Pedro and Diogo Costa. Help them reach their potential
- Cup Success
We have succeeded in our first goal of reaching the Champions League. Our second goal was to help the four players stated reach their potential. We’ve certainly succeeded with three of the players having given them plenty of first team football. However Rui Pedro simply hasn’t been able to force his way into the first team. Lucas Alario, Andrea Belotti and Andre Silva haven’t allowed him the chance.
- Push hard for the title
I want to win the Portuguese Primeira Liga this season. We came so close this season and with an extra years development for the likes of Magalhaes and Sousa we could be a really effective force up top.
- Reach Last 16 of Champions League
Despite this being our return season to the Champions League, I would be gutted if we don’t progress through our group, no matter who we are against. I’m not sure if we will be a second seed club or third but hopefully we can reach the knockout rounds.
- Extend contracts of our most promising players
This is a crucial part of the save as we move forward. We want our best youngsters to remain at the club for a long time. As such, I will be looking to extend the contracts of our best youngsters to improve our security in this area.
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Thanks for reading our tenth part of Youth Development with FC Porto. It is proving to be a challenging save but a fun one nonetheless.
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