Portuguese football has turned into a talent factory and, overall, offensive potential. Lisboa, with Benfica and Sporting, and Oporto have one of the best European academies. The top five leagues in Europe sign players from Portugal: Rubén Dias (central defender, he was sold for 68M €, according to Transfermarkt), Trincão (31M€), Fábio Silva (40M €) were the most important trades from the last summer market. Almost 140 million euros spent in three players and in barely two months. Likewise, an historical transfer took place in the 2019/2020: João Félix.
This is a frequent practice in the last few years, but reality has not always met expectations. There have also been several fails with the game of speculating with young players who had a huge projection. However, this is not the usual trend. We must point out that the adaptation to new leagues and clubs is never easy for a footballer that moves to a different country on his first steps as a professional. There are several examples of this case: Daniel Podence, Renato Sanches, Pedro Neto, João Cancelo o Bernardo Silva.
We are focusing on another pattern, so let´s head to Germany, Frankfurt specifically. Eintracht, with Wolfsburg´s permit, have made it more expensive to access the Champions League and are now in the 4th spot (42 points), three points above Borussia Dortmund. Adi Hütter´s team counts on a scoring machine, a Portuguese striker formed in Oporto. He is André Silva, the perfect partner for Kostić, Younes and Kamada.
Maybe it sounds familiar to you because of his time at Sevilla FC; Or even more for the time he played for Milan. And if not, let me summarize his trajectory for you. André Silva signed for the ´rossonero´club and brought big expectations after standing out in Portugal being just 21 years old. Actually, Cristiano Ronaldo has expressed his confidence on him multiple times. This confident has increased his demands.
“Portugal will be in good hands when I retire because the team has already found a great striker: André Silva”
Cristiano Ronaldo on André Silva in 2017
The adaptation that I mentioned before was not an easy task for the Portuguese. Moreover, that Milán´s context in despair for returning to the elite did not benefit him. Two goals in the Serie A and six in the Europa League could not avoid for the fashin´s capital to run out of patience.
His first loan came in the following season (2018/2019) to Sevilla. An extraordinary start with seven goals in seven games seemed to put him back to the confidence track. However, the anxiety turned into a single goal in the second part of the season. A strange injury left him out for more than two months. André Silva had a lot of virtues, but he was too irregular. Back to Milan, André Silva knew that his place was out of Italy. The ‘Rossoneros’ strengthened themselves with another rising talent: Rafael Leão, his countryman. On September 2nd 2019 took place an exchange with the Eintracht on a loan deal: Rebić for André Silva.
Now he was found his place in Germany. His numbers as a loan made the Eintracht to buy him for 3M €: 12 goals and three assists in 25 games in the Bundesliga; two goals and an assists in 9 games in the Europa League. He can´t stop scoring this season. André Silva just needed the confidence that Hütter is showing to him. The Austrian coach has managed to take the most out of him as the offensive reference on a 1-3-4-2-1 system. Stats to this point are outstanding: 21 goals and five assists in 24 games.
André Silva is a striker that stands out the most at scoring. He is very crafty; he proves to be very intelligent on where to be inside the box. Likewise, power is one of his other virtues and, despite not being too technical, he does not run away from trying to dribble the opponents. He has participated in almost half of Eintracht´s goals and he has become a key part of the team. If everything stays the same, he will be a player to keep an eye on in this summer´s Eurocup.
Neither Luka Jović´s sign, who has actually been left to the bench, intimidated the only potential haunter to Robert Lewandowski in the race for the Golden Boot. In fact, it has added extra motivation to the 25 years old striker. Eintracht and André Silva´s performing is being excellent and the goal is clear: to finish on top four.
André Silva´s future is an unknown, as he was multiple suitors. Manchester United, Atlético de Madrid, and if he keeps scoring, basically any team will be interested in signing him. The Portuguese knows what his immediate goal is: The Eurocup and the European competition for next year. In Frankfurt they know that André Silva is trending higher.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.