عالمية عالمية

Inside track on ‘unbelievable’ Matheus Nunes as Everton urged to make a move

“In one game, he went on a run which was about 60 metres, it was amazing! People went crazy and everybody was talking about it.”

Goncalo Santos, an ex-teammate of Matheus Nunes, is recalling some of the Brazilian’s best moments after the industrious 22-year-old helped Sporting win their first Primeira Liga title in 19 years.

He adds: “It’s unbelievable when he has the ball at his feet. Nobody can catch him; it’s impossible because he’s too fast.”

Goncalo is a close friend of former Toffees boss Marco Silva, having played with and for him at Estoril, a modest club in Portugal where the duo achieved much success, including successive seasons competing in Europe having started in the second division.

It was here too, at the Estádio António Coimbra da Mota, located 20 minutes from Lisbon, that captain Santos took to the pitch alongside Matheus for six months back in 2018.

The Blues have been linked with an £18million move for the youngster, albeit club sources have dismissed speculation at this stage.

But if the situation changes – what kind of talent could Everton be signing?

“Matheus is a box-to-box player. He’s not so strong like midfielders in the Premier League but he’s very fast. He’s very good with the ball because he is a Brazilian boy,” he laughs. “They know how to play with the ball.

“If you are in the defensive phase and he gets the ball, he can run with it and fire the team 30 yards up the pitch because he is so good in possession.”

Speaking exclusively to the ECHO from the Algarve, Santos has been a keen observer of the Toffees due to his connection to Silva and believes Everton would be wise to make a move this summer with Sporting seemingly open to offers.

Matheus is so talented, he says, his price will only increase.

Santos explains: “If he can join Everton now, it’s much better than in two or three years, because Everton will pay less money and Matheus will grow up there and improve his game. Maybe in a few seasons his market value will be three or four times bigger.

“Sporting are champions but they will sell some players. That’s how Portuguese football is. For sure they will look to sell Nuno Mendes, maybe to Manchester City, and Matheus too.”

Santos thinks Matheus, who scored a last-minute header to earn a 1-0 win over rivals Benfica on the way to winning the league, is most like Abdoulaye Doucoure in the current Everton squad, due to his tireless work-rate but thinks his former teammate is better when it comes to the technical side of the game.

He continues: “If you compare him, he is similar to Doucoure; he is physical, he runs so much but Matheus has more quality with the ball. He makes better decisions, has better passing, better control and he understands when he needs to slow the game down.

“If you ask me will he fit in the Everton starting team this season, it would be hard because I know Everton are a good team.

“I’m not so sure if he will start ahead of Doucoure but you never know.”

While the pacy midfielder may not take to the field instantly, Santos believes Matheus could have a serious impact on the blue half of Merseyside.

“He’s very young and will improve. He may look weak but he’s not,” Santos insists.

Matheus Nunes of Sporting CP celebrates after scoring a goal

“If he stayed at Sporting it could be good for him because he will play more but he will be good for Everton because he is a young player and will be even better in two or three years. He has 10 years ahead of him to play at a high level.”

While Matheus is a supremely gifted footballer, Santos tells us he was a really popular member of the Estoril team too.

“Everybody likes him because he runs so much! He keeps going, helps everybody and runs all game. The fans in Portugal, like in England, they really like this,” says Santos, aware Evertonians appreciate a player who puts in 100 per cent effort every game.

“He’s a very nice guy, quiet but he’s always smiling. He’s a team player and a funny guy.

“Everyday he is happy. He’s a good player to have in the dressing room and a very good guy. He never has a bad day.

“In Estoril, he came from the second team and he started to grow up. I was the captain and we had a good relationship. In time, he won his spot in the team.”

Such was his improvement, Sporting made their move and he signed for the Lisbon giants just half a year after joining Estoril. Born in Rio de Janeiro before moving to Portugal at the age of 13, his development has continued at a rapid rate.

“This season was his first in the Sporting first-team. I was a little surprised that his rise was so fast,” Santos says.

Get all the latest match reaction, stadium news, transfer talk and more.

We’ll have all the latest Everton updates as well as comment and analysis straight to your inbox every day with our FREE email newsletter.

Sign up here – it only takes a few seconds!

“Sometimes when players join big teams, they need to have luck. The quality they have is certain, but they still need some luck.

“He is in the team and for the first time in 19 years, Sporting won the Portuguese title. It was the perfect moment for him as he enjoyed a big season in the first 11. Joao Mario plays in his position but Matheus can also play in the ‘fake winger’ role, he’s the player who helps everybody getting forward.

“He’s always helping others. I expected he could reach this top level but it’s been fast.”

If Nunes was to join this summer, Evertonians will be hoping that he hits the ground running just as quickly and can help the Toffees to glory.

الوسوم
اظهر المزيد

اترك تعليقاً

لن يتم نشر عنوان بريدك الإلكتروني. الحقول الإلزامية مشار إليها بـ *

زر الذهاب إلى الأعلى
إغلاق

أنت تستخدم إضافة Adblock

برجاء دعمنا عن طريق تعطيل إضافة Adblock