Renato Sanches proved during this summer’s European Championships that he’s going to become one of the world’s best midfielders.
The 18-year-old - yes, it’s been proven that is his real age - produced a series of performances that defied his tender age and finished the tournament as a champion.
Bayern Munich’s CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitted on Friday that his club probably couldn’t afford to sign Sanches after his displays in France. Lucky for the German club, they wrapped up a €35 million deal before the tournament began.
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Sanches was strongly linked with a move to Manchester United before he eventually signed for Bayern and the Red Devils - Jose Mourinho, in particular - must be kicking themselves after missing out on such a special talent.
United scouts must have been acutely aware of how gifted the stocky midfielder was; his goal against Academica last December has, according to football writer Jan Hagen, been just named as the Portuguese league’s goal of the year.
Video: Sanches' goal of the season
It’s easy to see why.
Sanches picks the ball up, at an angle, around 25 yards from goal and unleashes a fizzing effort into the top right-hand corner of the net.
A truly special effort from a special player.
Remarkably, this was Sanches' first ever Benfica goal and it came on his debut at the Estádio da Luz.
Is Renato Sanches the best young midfielder in world football? Have your say by leaving a comment below.