This has been a year to relish for Porto forward André Silva, the 20-year-old breaking into the first XI thanks to his prolific B team efforts and earning a five-year contract extension with a €60m buy-out clause last month. UEFA.com gets the lowdown on the Dragons’ latest young prospect ahead of his debut UEFA Champions League campaign.
Name: André Silva
Debut: 29 December 2015 v Marítimo
Date of birth: 06/11/1995
Preferred foot: right
They say …
“André has to keep doing his job and continuing to grow. He’s a young man who has quality and is important for the team.”
Porto coach Nuno Espírito Santo
“André can be Portugal’s future striker, and one who can be the perfect partner for Ronaldo. He looks for inner spaces, he’s strong and has endurance, and he’s always putting pressure on the centre-backs and linking up with his colleagues by dropping deep to receive the ball.”
Former Porto coach José Peseiro
“André Silva was on our watch list for a while. Now we’ll monitor his development and analyse his performances. We already had Éder, a typical No9, but André is different – a No9 who moves in and around the area.”
Portugal coach Fernando Santos
Arriving at Porto in 2011, André Silva quickly made his name with a regular strike rate for club and country. He bagged five goals to help Portugal reach the 2014 UEFA European Under-19 Championship final and hit another four at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, before plundering a hat-trick against Albania on his U21 debut. By the end of last season, he had carved out a starting spot in Porto’s first team and ended with three goals in his last two games, carrying on this term with three in his first four competitive outings – including an effort against Roma in UEFA Champions League qualifying.
Playing style …
A typical centre-forward with a killer instinct, André Silva has a strong physique but a refined playing style, leavened by a sure touch and excellent overall technique.
Eureka moment …
Scoring two goals in last season’s Portuguese Cup final, André Silva helped Porto recover from 2-0 down against Braga and force extra time – before they lost 4-2 on penalties. The pick of his brace was a cheeky late overhead kick, these exploits securing him the man of the match award.
Best-case scenario …
At his current rate of progress, André Silva could become one of Porto’s most gifted forwards of recent years, and a player coveted by clubs around Europe. Recently called up for Portugal’s upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers, he also appears ready to provide a fresh option for the European champions, who have lacked a traditional centre-forward for some time.
He says …
“I was trying to get this goal for a long time. I’m so happy and relishing this moment: scoring at the Estádio do Dragão is something I’ve always dreamed about. I’ve progressed with the help of my team-mates and coach, but I’m very young and still have room for improvement.”
André Silva after scoring against Boavista on the final day of last term
— FC Porto (@FCPorto) August 21, 2016