William Carvalho made his debut for Portugal last night in their thrilling 3-2 win over Sweden that sees them qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The 20-year-old was brought on in the 73rd minute after Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalised on the night and was a calming force in a highly tense affair, a real testament to his ability.
He has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United and it isn’t hard to see why after such a mature performance on his debut in such a big game and he has been lauded for his cameo against Sweden.
“William Carvalho was subbed on to his debut for the Portuguese senior team and managed to get a very chaotic match and midfield under control in an extremely pressured situation. It was a great debut,” Jan Hagen, freelance journalist and Portuguese football expert, told The Peoples Person.
However, Jan believes that while Sporting Lisbon will sell and Carvalho is a brilliant talent who could become ‘one of the best midfielders in the world’, he remains uncertain as to whether he would walk straight into United’s team.
He added: “Sporting Lisbon will sell if the price is right. Even though the economy has improved, Sporting are still in some trouble and a bid of around €20m should do it.
“He isn’t ready to be a regular starter at Manchester United but I’m confident that he will become one of the best midfielders in the world.
“However, if United decides to buy him, I’m sure he will be able contribute something straight away but he’s still inexperienced at the top, top level.”
Carvalho himself couldn’t hide his happiness at making his debut and hailed Portugal’s achievement of qualifying for the World Cup.
“I’m glad. It was a dream come true for me to make my debut for the national team but best of all, our goal has been achieved,” he said after the game.
“Now I will keep working at Sporting Lisbon for another chance.
“We knew there would be many air balls. It showed we have a great team and the best player in the world. We achieved our goal which was what we wanted and now we want to go as far as possible in Brazil.”
For a 20-year-old to go into the last 15 minutes of a World Cup play-off knowing that his side were a goal away from not going to Brazil and play with confidence is almost unheard of.
His sharp rise into Sporting Lisbon and now Portugal’s side is a testament to his ability and now that he has been placed firmly in the spotlight, there will be more clubs than just United hungry to secure his signature.