Is William Carvalho ready for Arsenal move?

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William Carvalho moved a step closer to completing a move to the Premier League after being put up for sale by Sporting Lisbon, but does the young midfielder have what it takes to make it in England's top flight?

Arsenal have already had a bid in the region of £24 million knocked back, but with Sporting now reportedly willing to listen to offers, Arsene Wenger could reignite his interest in the 22-year-old.

Now we don't wish to question Wenger's judgement, and if he thinks Carvalho will be a worthwhile addition we won't disagree, but whenever a young European star makes his way to these shores it's customary to ask; "Can he do it on a cold, rainy night in Stoke?"

Rival interest

That he's being linked with a move to Arsenal is testament to Carvalho's ability, but it's not just the Gunners who have been credited with the midfielder this summer.

Premier League rivals Manchester United and Liverpool looked set to battle it out for his signature, while Real Madrid and Monaco have also been talked about as possible destinations.

However, it's Arsenal who are now the favourites to complete a deal, leaving us questioning whether or not the Portuguese starlet will fit in at the north London club.

Style of play

Should he complete his move, Carvalho will be joining a club which can already boast the likes of Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla in their midfield ranks.

While that quartet may be devastatingly effective with the ball at their feet, Arsenal's midfield has been lacking someone who can win the ball from the opposition and pass it on to more skillful teammates, and that's what Carvalho does best.

His powerful frame and atletic ability allows the Angolan-born midfielder to maraud around the pitch snuffing out opposition attacks before calmly finding a teammate in an attacking position.

And, importantly for a club of Arsenal's stature, Carvalho isn't afraid of the big occasion. Earlier this summer he was named in Paulo Bento's World Cup squad, despite having won just two caps prior to the call-up.


After being overlooked for Portugal's opening fixture, a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Germany, Carvalho was introduced as a half-time substitute against the USA.

Operating in front of the back four Carvalho looked calm and composed as he he made his debut on the world stage, and followed that up with another assured performance against Ghana, though he couldn't prevent his country's elimination at the group stage.


Despite showing maturity beyond his years in Brazil, it's important to note that Carvalho has only played two full seasons of first team football.

A six month loan spell at Cercle Bruges at the end of the 2011/2012 season earned him a season-long move to Belgium the following season before finally making his mark on the Sporting first squad last year.

That inexperience at the top level could prove costly at a club who will be hoping to mount a Premier League title challenge having finally broken their nine-year trophy drought by lifting the FA Cup in May.

However, Arsene Wenger is a master of nurturing young talent and if inexperience is the biggest fault we can find in Carvalho's game then there's every chance of him making a big impact at the Emirates stadium.

In 1996, an inexperienced African-born midfielder joined Arsenal and became a club legend. If things go well for Carvalho Arsene Wenger may well have found his new Patrick Vieira.

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