Benfica boasted that Carlos Vinicius was worth £90m when he topped the scoring charts in Portugal… He arrives at Spurs as back-up to Harry Kane, but this powerful poacher could turn out to be the star man’s perfect partner
- Tottenham are close to a loan move for Carlos Vinicius, with the option to buy
- He had unsuccessful spells with Napoli and Monaco, before starring at Benfica
- He was the joint top-scorer in the Primeira Liga last season, scoring 18 times
- Harry Kane could benefit from playing with him due to space he finds in the box
Portuguese journalist Goncalo Lopes gives the lowdown on the latest striker heading to the Premier League.
Tottenham supporters are probably wondering just who their new striker is as they close in on a loan deal for Carlos Vinicius.
They will be excited to hear he was valued at £90million by Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira, who said he could’ve been sold for the eye-watering sum had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic hammering football clubs and their finances.
Carlos Vinicius was the joint top-scorer in the Primeira Liga last season, scoring 18 times
Vinicius is expected to play second fiddle to Harry Kane, but they could form a lethal pairing
Vieira did knock back a £55m bid last January for Vinicius, who is set to seal his loan move to Spurs with an option to buy for £36m – a snip if what the Benfica chief says is true. Spurs secured a work permit last night (Thursday) and his medical is set for today.
So, who is he?
Benfica bought him from Napoli for £15m in July last year. It was his performances for Portuguese second division side Real Massama that caught Napoli’s attention and he signed for the Italian giants in January 2018 after scoring 20 goals in 39 games.
It didn’t take long however for Napoli to send him out on loan, and it was his time with Rio Ave where he really exploded, netting 14 times in just 20 games for the Portuguese top-flight side. An indifferent loan spell at Monaco followed but Benfica had seen enough in him to acquire his services on a permanent deal.
Jose Mourinho wants a back-up striker for Kane to relieve the pressure on the England captain
Vinicius started the season as a third-choice striker – they had the previous season’s top scorer Haris Seferovic and had just paid £18m for Raul de Tomas. By the end of the season, Vinicius was the league’s joint leading marksman.
A real poacher in the box, he scored 18 league goals in 32 matches, and 24 in 47 games across all competitions last season.
The left-footer scores the majority of his goals in and around the six-yard box. He’s a mobile player, physically strong and is excellent at anticipating space. He often tests the offside line but his speed makes him a headache for defenders.
He’s been a success in Portugal, but that didn’t carry over to Italy and France, so the question remains as to whether he’s up to the task in the Premier League. The Brazilian has a lot to improve on.
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He scores mainly on the left side of the area with low, powerful shots and he’ll be found out by defenders quickly if he doesn’t vary his attacks. And there can often be questions asked about his first touch.
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho thinks of him as a back-up to Harry Kane, but there’s no reason why they can’t play together up front. Vinicius likes to play with someone beside him, and Kane would be the perfect ally. The England captain could benefit too, because of the space he usually wins in the box.
If he can be the Vinicius who thrived in Portugal, £36m could well turn out to be a bargain.
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