Sporting Lisbon’s midfield titan William Carvalho produced the performance of the European Under-21 Championships in his Portugal side’s 5-0 devastation of tournament favourites Germany last time out.
In a display that exuded strength, power and a ferociousness ill-fitting for a competition designed for players not yet deemed ready for senior international football, the Sporting colossus entirely dominated his Die Mannschaft counterparts, with his awe-inducing ability to break up opposition play forming the foundation for a multitude of Portuguese counter attacks.
This wasn’t the first time Carvalho shone in the junior Euros either, with many now expecting his name to be etched into the player of the tournament trophy following his appearance in Tuesday’s final.
If he is duly recognised for his exemplary efforts, the 23-year-old will follow a course most recently traversed by Thiago Alcantara, the former Barcelona whizz signed up by Bayern Munich after he helped fire Spain to Euro U21 Championship glory two years ago.
Carvalho has long been linked with a move to one of the globe’s elite, with Arsenal known to adore everything about him bar the £37m release clause in his contract.
Sporting are refusing to sell for a penny below, but recent showings have served to remove any doubt regarding whether the midfield monster is worth the outlay.
Despite last season’s emergence of Francis Coquelin, it’s a widely held opinion that the Gunners require the exact type of beast Carvalho is to instil some aggression into their midfield, while domestic rivals Manchester United are expected to spend big in order to secure Morgan Schneiderlin’s signature.
Both rate as 3/1 shots to sign the 23-year-old by the close of the current transfer window and, based on the goings on in the Czech Republic, both would be encouraged to abandon any midfield rebuilding plans they previously harboured and make his acquisition transfer plans A, B and C.