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Who is this 19-year-old midfield prodigy being chased by West Ham and Leicester? All you need to know

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West Ham Opinion: West Ham battling Leicester City for Portuguese prodigy

According to Portuguese source Record, West Ham are interested in signing Sporting Lisbon starlet Nuno Moreira in the summer, with Leicester City also keeping tabs on the highly-rated 19-year-old.

The same report claims that Moreira is out of contract in the summer and has refused to pen a new deal due to lack of opportunities.

The Portuguese prodigy is yet to break into Sporting’s senior first-team but he has impressed in the UEFA Youth League this term, scoring once and providing a couple of assists in 7 appearances.

As the Premier League clubs come circling around like sharks to swoop for the talented midfielder, let us take a closer look at one of the brightest upcoming talents in Portugal – Sporting Lisbon’s Nuno Moreira.

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Background

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Nuno Moreira has been at the Sporting academy ever since he was a kid. The 19-year-old, who is held in very high regard by the club hierarchy, has been on the fringes of the first-team but he is yet to make a senior competitive appearance.

He has impressed with his performances in the UEFA Youth League this term and his contract situation has set some big clubs on red alert.

Style of Play

Nuno Moreira is primarily a central attacking midfielder by trade even though he is equally comfortable playing out wide on either flank. A technically-gifted creative ace, the youngster has shown maturity that belies his tender years in terms of decision-making and tactical intelligence.

He is a very mobile player who always shows great levels of stamina and enthusiasm to cover a lot of distance. Nuno likes to have the ball at his feet and he certainly has the quality to make things happen.

Besides possessing obvious quality on the ball, Moreira can also cause problems for the opposition with his movement off the ball to get into dangerous positions. A player with a wonderful understanding of the game, he not only has an excellent eye for a pass but he also likes to shift positions constantly to link up with his teammates.

Sporting CP Nuno Moreira in action during the UEFA Youth League match between Sporting CP and Olympiakos Piraeus at CGD Stadium Aurelio Pereira on November 22, 2017 in Alcochete, Portugal.

Moreira has the skill and the technical ability to move the ball quickly in the attacking third, whilst also drifting wide at times to draw the defenders out of their positions.

He often drops deep to pick up the ball and combines his nimble footwork with his ability to make sharp turns to create his own space in the middle of the park. It is important to mention here that Nuno is capable of using both feet to good effect, which helps him control the ball very well in tight situations.

To go along with his vision, sharpness, agility and creativity, the 19-year-old also has a good eye for goal from all ranges, putting his foot through the ball to make use of the slightest of opportunities.

What does the future hold?

Nuno Moreira is certainly one of the brightest upcoming talents in Portugal and has already attracted interest from clubs like West Ham and Leicester. However, his his inability to break into the first-team at Sporting might be seen as a red flag in his development curve.

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Even if a move to the Premier League materialises, Nuno won’t be catapulted straight into the first-team at West Ham or Leicester. He will need time to adapt to the highly competitive and physical nature of English football but given his potential, the Portuguese starlet can make a name for himself in the Premier League in the years to come.

West Ham raided Benfica to sign Xande Silva last season and the youngster has already broken into the first-team at east London. If things go right for Nuno Moreira, one can expect him to follow the same path.

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