Sporting Lisbon have confirmed the signing of Dundee United sensation Ryan Gauld on a six-year deal and have placed a €60m release clause in his contract.
Gauld 18, was strongly linked with a move to Manchester United back in January following a stand-out season with Dundee United in the Scottish Premier League and was dubbed the ‘mini-Messi’ because of his similar style of play.
A move to Sporting will help accelerate Gauld’s career because of how much more first-team football he will but the 18-year-old also pointed towards the different style of play being why he chose a move to Portugal.
“My dad played junior football. My brother plays for a pub team. It shows that everybody is different,” he said.
“I watched the Spanish league growing up and I prefer their style. Getting the ball down and being patient with the buildup.
“In England it’s more direct. Wingers are expected to take on a full-back and get a cross in. If it’s abroad, you can keep the ball.”
While Gauld has a fair point that a traditional winger in the Premier League is expected to get crosses into the box, Adnan Januzaj‘s season showed that a youngster can have just as much of an impact cutting inside and keeping the ball at his feet.
United may well move for Gauld in the future if his progression over the next few years matches his promise but thanks to his astonishing €60m price tag, he’d be a very pricey player if he turned out as good as some hope he can be.