Full Name: William Silva de Carvalho
Club: Sporting CP
DOB: 7 April 1992 (age 21)
Height: 6’ 2”
As one of the most commanding defensive midfielders currently in the game, William Carvalho is a player in demand. At at the age of 21, he is the type of player that has the potential to be as good as some players he has been compared to, such as Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure. The difference with Carvalho is that he offers much more of a defensive presence and his instinct is to contain attacking threats.
Born in Angola, Carvalho moved to Portugal as a toddler before entering the Sporting youth system after his 13th birthday. It is there that he honed his talent before making his professional debut at the age of 19 in a Primeira Liga game. Shortly after, he was loaned out twice before becoming an integral part of the Sporting squad.
In his first real season with the Sporting first team, he has made over 20 appearances and picked up 3 goals. Internationally he has also made his presence felt, making his debut and pushing for a place on this summer’s Portuguese squad headed to Brazil.
It is Carvalho’s tremendous size and strength that sets him apart from other player in his position. Not only does he have a very large frame and good height, but he is also a very agile player who has no fear getting on the ball and moving it around. Off the ball, he reads the game in a smart, defensive manner, positioning himself in areas where the ball might be played. When he wins the ball back, his ability to be calm and find the right pass gives him an almost Roy Keane like quality. Keane was one of the best players in the world at reading the game, and although Carvalho doesn’t yet possess that world class ability, he is one of the few developing players with the potential to get to that level. And adding to all the defensive talk, it should be noted that he has occasionally been called to shift to centerback, a role he is very adept at playing. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is a future club comes in for his signature with the intent of shifting him into a more permanent defensive role.
If there was an area where Carvalho has to work, it is in his attacking style. He has scored several goals in his career and likes to make bursting runs forward, but he has yet to threaten the quality seen in players such as Yaya Toure. If he can hone a more effective attacking style and become a more efficient creator, he could easily become a very talented all around midfielder. That would include stepping up from “playing it safe” to “playing the perfect through ball”, something he will only develop by taking risks.
In terms of development, there is a lot of growing left for Carvalho and he has the right mindset to step up his game. In his short professional career, we have seen tremendous growth and a willingness to adjust as needed. To step to the next level, moving elsewhere in Europe is a necessity, something that has been a hot topic in recent weeks. We expect a large transfer (in the region of $60 million) to shift hands for his services before this summer’s World Cup kicks off.
Did you know? Carvalho has a €45 million release clause in his contract, which explains our estimation on his transfer price tag!
William Carvalho Wears Nike CTR360 Maestri IV
Not quite the boot we would have expected to see Carvalho wearing, but he currently sports the Nike CTR360 Maestri. A boot designed for offensive styled players, usually playmakers, the CTR360 Maestri still has plenty of characteristics that suit Carvalho. For example, the technology sitting on the instep, intended to provide cleaner control on the ball. As a defensive midfielder, it is an area consistently exploited by players who like to take the ball out of the air and move it along at pace. I’m also a huge fan of the clean forefoot and lateral stitching that gives the boot an extremely smooth and comfortable performance as you move with the ball. Taking the ball down with one touch, beating another midfield player and dishing a tidy pass is what we expect to see from Carvalho, and the CTR360 Maestri is a boot that delivers on the end.
With the CTR360 about to head to retirement, it will be interesting to see where Carvalho heads next with his boot choice. The new Nike Magista silo is set to be the replacement boot, but I don’t see them being an effective choice for the Portuguese star. Instead, he might have to look to the Nike Tiempo Legend V or make the bold decision to jump to another brand, with the adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 offering the best alternative option for his playing style.