Football’s Rising Stars – Renato Sanches

The ever efficient Bayern Munich’s transfer dealings completed another good purchase when they acquired Benfica’s Renato Sanches earlier this summer. The young Portuguese star had been linked with a move to Manchester United but ultimately he chose the five-time European champions.

Sanches is only 18-year-old, but his reading of the game is well beyond his years. The youngster played only 24 league games for Benfica last season before completing his €35 million move to Bayern Munich. However, with the way he is performing at the Euros, it appears that the Bavarians have secured a coup. 

Playing style

Video courtesy: BNK

Sanches can best be described as a box-to-box midfielder. He possesses great dribbling skills, is extremely comfortable with the ball and is adept at making defence splitting passes. He remains calm under pressing from the opposition and is able to make the best pass more often than not.

However, he is also not shy of running along the wings and cutting inside as well as crossing in the middle. All in all, he is an extremely gifted football player who can do great things if managed well.

Future at Bayern Munich

The Bavarian giants will be under the management of Carlo Ancelotti from the upcoming season, and the track record of the Italian manager when it comes to promoting young talents is not all that great. Ancelotti also has a plethora of players similar to Sanches and that could hamper the youngster’s chances of first team minutes, at least in his first season at the Allianz Area. However, he is likely to serve the German outfit for a long time to come.

Prospects with the national team

He has already garnered two Man of the Match awards at the ongoing Euros. Sanches has proved to be the difference in Portuguese midfield whenever he has been called into action. Still only 18, he is likely to become one of the most important members for the Portuguese national team over the coming decade.

Resemblance with a football great

Sanches’s dribbling, calmness in possession, strength and passing range are well beyond his young years. His physique and hair as well as playing style have earned him comparisons with Dutch legend Edgar Davids.

Achievements so far

  • With his Euro 2016 call-up, Sanches became the youngest Portuguese to be selected for an international competition, breaking a record held by Cristiano Ronaldo for 12 years.
  • His goal for the national team against Poland in the quarter-final made him the youngest Portuguese player to score in an international knockout fixture.
  • He won the Primeira Liga and the Taca da Liga with Benfica last season.

Interesting Facts

  • With his splendid long-range strike against Academica in a league fixture, he became the Benfica’s youngest player to score a home goal in the 21st century at the Estadio da Luz. The strike was selected as the Goal of the Month.
  • His big money transfer to Bayern Munich made him the most expensive Portuguese player to leave the domestic league.
  • He is the first Portuguese player to sign for the Bavarian giants.