Goncalo Inacio

abraz79

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Gonçalo Inácio plays as a CB or LCB, although he played a whole year as a RCB (in a back with 3 CBs) before Diomande arrived at the club. I wouldn't use him as a LB, although he can remedy that position decently, in case of need.

His strong points are the passing, progressive passing, ball control, positioning. He's faster than he looks.
I think he could be better in concentration. There's some games that he looks he has his head somewhere else and commits some errors. It looks like it's because sometimes he thinks he's better than the adversary and misjudges how easy it will be. That's something that can be worked and he has been improving in that regard.

Under Ten Hag, his good long passing and vision will be useful to launch counter attacks. But I think the best use of his skills is in a tactic where we want to keep control of the ball, as he offers a lot of solutions with his positioning, passing and vision. He's not afraid to have the ball and go forward. He doesn't lose his cool when the adversary is trying to press high and force errors. Although sometimes he goes for the nice pass instead of just throwing the ball away, when it would be safer the later. But he's getting better at this, more pragmatic.

He's rarely injured (only once, since he joined the main team), which is a good thing.
 
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Rozay

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I still don’t understand this idea of prioritising passing and controlling qualities in your back 5 and then helter-skelter in the midfield. Are we supposed to be controlling games by just passing it around at the back?
 

Cassidy

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I still don’t understand this idea of prioritising passing and controlling qualities in your back 5 and then helter-skelter in the midfield. Are we supposed to be controlling games by just passing it around at the back?
Neves and Mainoo are helter skelter?
 

Cassidy

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Neves doesn’t play for us? McTominay does.
Inacio doesn't play for us... quite obviously we are trying to transition the squad away from helter skelter
 

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I still don’t understand this idea of prioritising passing and controlling qualities in your back 5 and then helter-skelter in the midfield. Are we supposed to be controlling games by just passing it around at the back?
It seems likely we are trying to offload Casemiro. Dont you think we will try to bring in two midfielders? One for Casemiro and one for Eriksen/Amrabat?
 

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Rozay

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Inacio doesn't play for us... quite obviously we are trying to transition the squad away from helter skelter
It’s not obvious at all. We started last season with a midfield construct I would describe as exactly that. While making changes in goal to do the opposite. The manager spent most of the season bemoaning the absence of his LB and LCB for his inability to control games, yet at the start of the season his midfield was Casemiro, Bruno and Mount, without any central midfielder at all, just a defensive midfielder and two 10s.

Mainoo coming in was a step in the right direction, how he develops his midfield going forward will reveal a lot.
 

Rozay

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It seems likely we are trying to offload Casemiro. Dont you think we will try to bring in two midfielders? One for Casemiro and one for Eriksen/Amrabat?
The profile of those midfielders remain to be seen though. We’ve been linked with all sorts. I would say that the most consistent theme seems to be that our defenders (and goalkeepers) need to excel at playing the ball.
 

DWelbz19

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I still don’t understand this idea of prioritising passing and controlling qualities in your back 5 and then helter-skelter in the midfield. Are we supposed to be controlling games by just passing it around at the back?
It's a point I've made too. We need to be after multiple midfielders. Let Eriksen go, don't retain Amrabat, and Casemiro goes to Saudi's highest bidder. At least one DM and one CM to replace those three who recycle possession and retain the ball under pressure.
 

Rozay

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It's a point I've made too. We need to be after multiple midfielders. Let Eriksen go, don't retain Amrabat, and Casemiro goes to Saudi's highest bidder. At least one DM and one CM to replace those three who recycle possession and retain the ball under pressure.
Indeed, although for fiscal reasons, I’m not totally adverse to another year of Amrabat. I have to be realistic about possible financial limitations and I would much rather Amrabat for another year than go and get the wrong midfielder now because we couldn’t afford the right one.
 

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The profile of those midfielders remain to be seen though. We’ve been linked with all sorts. I would say that the most consistent theme seems to be that our defenders (and goalkeepers) need to excel at playing the ball.
Have we been seriously linked to anyone? Probably Joao Neves, but others?
 

Rozay

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Have we been seriously linked to anyone? Probably Joao Neves, but others?
Nobody very seriously. We have been said to have an interest in Neves, Onana and Fofana off the top of my head by different reports.
 

Cassidy

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It’s not obvious at all. We started last season with a midfield construct I would describe as exactly that. While making changes in goal to do the opposite. The manager spent most of the season bemoaning the absence of his LB and LCB for his inability to control games, yet at the start of the season his midfield was Casemiro, Bruno and Mount, without any central midfielder at all, just a defensive midfielder and two 10s.

Mainoo coming in was a step in the right direction, how he develops his midfield going forward will reveal a lot.
We also wanted to sell McTominay and sign other midfielders and have been scouting Neves for 2 years....
 

Rozay

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We also wanted to sell McTominay and sign other midfielders and have been scouting Neves for 2 years....
Well we rejected all offers for McTominay, so I’m not sure how that constitutes him being a player we ‘wanted’ to sell as opposed to a player we would sell if we got an offer we couldn’t refuse, which applies to all but about 3 of our squad. Then there’s the fact that McTominay started most games for us this season, so he’s clearly not in opposition to any sort of fundamental philosophy we have. We wanted to sign ‘other midfielders’, like who? Amadou Onana? I’m not sure how he changes our midfield to a more controlling one.

We have been scouting Neves, let’s see if we do anything about it, and let’s see what happens if we decide NOT to do anything about it too. Do we go and sign a similar profile to him or do we go and sign Youssef Fofana who isn’t? There is a long way to go before determining that we are making moves towards becoming a more controlling team I think.
 

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On Monday evening, Portuguese newspaper O Jogo featured a story about Manchester United’s chase for Sporting centre-back Gonçalo Inácio.

The newspaper didn’t wait for the printed edition to launch it, and said the Red Devils decided to go for the defender’s signing this summer, regardless of what Erik ten Hag’s future will be.

It turns out that O Jogo wasn’t the only one with that information, as A Bola, Record and Jornal de Notícias also share very similar stories today.

Starting with A Bola, it’s said Manchester United already made ‘exploratory contacts’ to get more information on the potential signing, and now ‘prepare to present an offer’ for the player.
Their story claims that the Red Devils are well aware that the player’s price is €60m, the same as his release clause, and still, can come up with a bid in the ‘coming days’.

Record’s story is pretty much the same. It’s said Manchester United made contact and the ‘next step’ is now a concrete bid.

Also claiming the bid could arrive in the next few days, the only difference in their piece is that they claim the €60m could be reached with bonuses included.

The only outlet with a slightly different take is Jornal de Notícias. They have the same information as others, but insist Manchester United are not keen on paying that much money.

With all papers sounding so sure that the Red Devils are about to place their bid, we must now wait for it.
 

DJ_21

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Much rather Diomande from Lisbon. Unless the plan is to use an inverted full back, similar to what city did with Ake. Can Inácio play that role?
 

Grande

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I still don’t understand this idea of prioritising passing and controlling qualities in your back 5 and then helter-skelter in the midfield. Are we supposed to be controlling games by just passing it around at the back?
I’m not sure if I undestand what idea you think we have (that you don’t understand).

If by controlling you mean horisontal possession, I don’t think that’s it. The primary objective is to play fast, direct and controlled by passing through the lines, overloading defences early by multiple runs behind the lines and in between spaces simultaneously. Step
Two after rapid transition up field, is high pressure to win back ball and establish control that way. Martinez, Shaw, Mount, Bruno, Garnacho and Højlund all seem very compatible with such a plan. Antony, Dalot and Malacia as well - as types, but in the end there is also the question of quality and form.

Helter Skelter on the other hand, is what appears when the fast and direct passing is no longer controlled, as in imprecise, hopeful or resorting to too many long balls with duels at the end. That’s what you can expect to see if you try to play fast, direct and controlled with players who are not in synch, not in form, or who don’t have the attributes, like say if you are trying this with Evans, Lindelöf, Wan-Bissaka, McTominay and Amrabat. IMO you could do it with 1-2 of these, not with 3-5. Casemiro in shape is able to play like this with a Kroos, a Bruno etc around him. Mainoo have the attributes but not yet the full understanding, etc, so there are many reasons this season why what I percieve as the idea (fast, direct and controlled as primary option) has in fact amounted to helter skelter, which I in no circumstance believe is the idea.

McTominay is not a catastrophe in this game, but he should not be a regular starter, nor should we have more than 2-3 ‘out of character’ players in the squad with regards to style, much like we had a Sheringham under Fergie or a Fellaini under Van Gaal.
 

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Not a lot of actual defending there, though.
1.5 tackles per 90 mins, less than Diomande, Eduardo Quaresma and Coates at Sporting yet its more than our CBs other than Casemiro and Lisandro who both played less than 10 matches. More than Maguire, Varane, Lindelof and Evans

0.9 interceptions per 90 is the 2nd most of Sporting's CBs but its behind St. Juste who played just 5 times. Its behind a lot of our CBs last season with Maguire and Evans both 1.4 and Varane 1.0 . So ahead of Casemiro, Lisandro and Lindelof

Clearances 2.3 per 90 is 2nd at Sporting after Coates. This is lower than all of our CBs, Varane had 5.4 and Maguire 4.3 . I do think that you're likely to make less if you play 3 at the back like Sporting though.

Total attempted aerials per 90 is 3.5 again second to Coates, Maguire had 4.6 but everyone else is behind Inacio

So overall his actual defending numbers are mostly an upgrade



Some defending clips in action

Edit - Also tends to score a couple of headers each season and 1 or 2 more with his feet. Good for attacking set pieces
 
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Ekeke

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Much rather Diomande from Lisbon. Unless the plan is to use an inverted full back, similar to what city did with Ake. Can Inácio play that role?
Think most likely he's to help cover and compete with Lisandro as LCB. Diomande is right footed. I would assume we would sign a right sided CB as well, just not from the same club as that hardly ever happens in the same window
 

DJ_21

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Think most likely he's to help cover and compete with Lisandro as LCB. Diomande is right footed. I would assume we would sign a right sided CB as well, just not from the same club as that hardly ever happens in the same window
Which is surely what we need more? A right footed CB since Varanes left and we need to replace him not get cover for Martinez. Also covering players normally cost a lot less. Luke Shaw can cover at LCB at a push. Although he can never stay fit. If we signed Inácio or Diomande then surely it’s to start not play back up.
 

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Which is surely what we need more? A right footed CB since Varanes left and we need to replace him not get cover for Martinez. Also covering players normally cost a lot less. Luke Shaw can cover at LCB at a push. Although he can never stay fit. If we signed Inácio or Diomande then surely it’s to start not play back up.
I fear it says more about Lisandro and what we think about his fitness. Yes he looks like he'll be even more expensive than Lisandro so a top shield pick for competition

And I would agree, but I rate Inacio and I dont suppose theres any reason 2 left footed cbs cant play together
 

DJ_21

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I fear it says more about Lisandro and what we think about his fitness. Yes he looks like he'll be even more expensive than Lisandro so a top shield pick for competition

And I would agree, but I rate Inacio and I dont suppose theres any reason 2 left footed cbs cant play together
If ETH is still in charge then that’s unlikely as he’s mentioned a few times this season about the importance of having the correct footed players on the right side. However it shouldn’t stop us getting a quality CB that’s comfortable using both feet.
 

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He's probably the best CB in Portugal as far as what he can do in-possession. He has enormous potential as far as what he can do on the ball, but the question mark surrounding him would be if he can deal with the out of possession demands that will be required off him in a physically and athletically demanding EPL. He's a very interesting player and utilising him as how @andersj mentions above, could well be a very good move and his ability on the ball looks of a very high quality. The type of player ten Hag would want in his team to exert possessional control and make our build up phase from the back more effective.

https://x.com/DataMB_/status/1797714182311453128?t=l6g39i6EhPaRAJU7Pf0G9Q&s=19

Fabrizio Romano is also saying that we're going to sign at least one right footed CB as well. So if we signed Inacio along with someone like Diomande from SCP, then I think that definitely has potential as far as playing out from the back at a good to high level.

Diomande's form did dip slightly after returning from AFCON duty. But we should expect young talent to have dips in form, but the talent is quite obvious and he'd be someone that we can plan with for the now and also the mid to long-term. Signing players like Diomande or Yoro who are projects, will eventually bear fruit.

I think the back 5 below potentially provides a good platform for the team to exert more control in possession. I think having someone like Inacio invert inside to form a 3 man back-line is a huge advantage due to his potential ability on the ball and how that could help us control the game better and further raise our technical level in the first line. He's 22 years old and eventhough there's question marks surrounding out of possession game in open spaces, he's a player I'd definitely take a chance on due to his obvious qualities on the ball. I'd say he's a better player than Zinchenko in a similar LB/LCB hybrid role.

---------------------------Onana---
Dalot------Diomande-----Martinez------Inacio

Your assessment of Inácio is spot on and in line with the general consensus at Forum SCP (Sporting forum).

I'm very reluctant to let Inácio go. If United pays the release clause, of course we would have no choice but if United isn't willing to pay full clause I prefer for him to stay and do the Champions League campaign and then leave next year. He's our most important defender, along with Sebastian Coates. His National team performances under Martinez have been very good as well. It's important as it shows he can mantain his high standards in a different environment.

I'd prefer to sell Diomande. As you have read in the previous paragraph, I don't even consider him one of our top two defenders. Diomande had a very good half a season when he joined but this year, although we were champions, he wasn't that good. In fact most Sporting fans didn't panic when we missed him. It isn't a good sign when you have a growing number of detractors in Sporting game day threads. He's also the number 1 player the vast majority of Sporting fans want sold for our yearly big transfer fund needs.

Diomande has a very big potential but frankly it wasn't a good year for him. At least for the standards he showed in the first half a season. May be form fluctuation since he's very young, still evolving and gaining experience but it can also be that we overrated him and over inflated our expectations. I'd prefer to sell him now while his stock is still high.
 

Sly

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SCP have already bought the highly rated Belgian CB, Zeno Debast from Anderlecht. So it does seem like one or two of their CBs will leave. I think both Inacio and Diomande could leave.
Both won't leave. Unless clubs pay the clauses, then we have no choice. We have a very long and demanding season coming up with the champions league. I also doubt Ruben Amorim would agree to stay if he didn't have assurances that we won't have many high profile departures. Of course this reasoning changes if clubs pay the clauses.
 

DJ_21

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Both won't leave. Unless clubs pay the clauses, then we have no choice. We have a very long and demanding season coming up with the champions league. I also doubt Ruben Amorim would agree to stay if he didn't have assurances that we won't have many high profile departures. Of course this reasoning changes if clubs pay the clauses.
You’re probably lucky Amorim didn’t join Liverpool or another team as he’d have most likely took some of your key players. Did he agree to stay or did no other club want him? I read that Liverpool and West Ham pulled out. Due to either wages or wanting full control over transfers etc.
 

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You’re probably lucky Amorim didn’t join Liverpool or another team as he’d have most likely took some of your key players. Did he agree to stay or did no other club want him? I read that Liverpool and West Ham pulled out. Due to either wages or wanting full control over transfers etc.
The general consensus is that he stayed due to Liverpool snubbing his conditions and transfer control demands. The West Ham angle was never taken seriously. The appeal of managing in the new Champions League, proving himself and gaining more experience also played it's part. On a domestic football note, he wants to be the first Sporting manager in God knows how many decades to win two in a row.
 

Teja

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Not a lot of actual defending there, though.
Don't think it's too bad. Lots of tackles won in the middle 3rd - seems comfortable enough to nip in and win the ball. Rest could be a proxy for Sporting's general dominance. e.g.,

Lack of clearances: Probably a good thing, it implies you pass the ball out well. The numbers for guys like Gvardiol / Ake are low as well.
Blocks / Shots blocked: The same can probably be said here. They don't face as many shots?
% of dribblers tackled, Challenges lost: Needs someone to validate with the eye test i.e., does he go in for a lot of challenges, so the raw count of sucessful tackles in the middle third of the pitch is high but also because he goes in for a lot of challenges, the "challenges lost" number is also high?
Interceptions, errors: No hypothesis for these, these just seem bad / mediocre.
Aerials won / lost: Again looks bad, he seems like a big guy, why is he losing aerial duels?
 

bosskeano

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If ETH is still in charge then that’s unlikely as he’s mentioned a few times this season about the importance of having the correct footed players on the right side. However it shouldn’t stop us getting a quality CB that’s comfortable using both feet.
this....which is why it seems odd that he would want to bring in another left sided CB given the right side is the issue with Varane leaving, Lindelof is shit so is Maguire....Licha is our best CB when he's healthy and Shaw sliding there is good as well again when healthy which by now means his playing career is almost over
 

Teja

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I still don’t understand this idea of prioritising passing and controlling qualities in your back 5 and then helter-skelter in the midfield. Are we supposed to be controlling games by just passing it around at the back?
My thoughts from earlier:

For a full 3 box 3 type team we're moving to, here's what we need.

--- Rashford ---- Hojlund --- RW* ----------
--------------- Mainoo -- Bruno -----------------
--------------- DLP ---------- Dalot ---------------
------ Inacio -- Martinez --- New CB ------
------------------ Onana
I think we'll sign a DM who can act as a deep lying playmaker to partner Mainoo and Bruno. Think Rodri / Busquets mould more than a Fabinho / Casemiro. I also think a pure deep playmaker of Jorginho / Thiago / Enzo mould won't work - it needs to be someone with defensive ability, height, general presence to pair with Mainoo and Bruno.

I don't know if Joao Neves is that guy, he seems more an #8 than a Rodri type player but let's see that's the only link we have so far.
 

didz

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My thoughts from earlier:



I think we'll sign a DM who can act as a deep lying playmaker to partner Mainoo and Bruno. Think Rodri / Busquets mould more than a Fabinho / Casemiro. I also think a pure deep playmaker of Jorginho / Thiago / Enzo mould won't work - it needs to be someone with defensive ability, height, general presence to pair with Mainoo and Bruno.

I don't know if Joao Neves is that guy, he seems more an #8 than a Rodri type player but let's see that's the only link we have so far.
Rodri and Busquets are unicorns. I know people will say "well scouts should scout better" but I genuinely do not think that there is a "Rodri/Busquets mould" player that we can just go out and buy. Compromise is often necessary, and in recruiting a new midfielder we'll almost certainly have to decide whether we favour defensive nous or playmaking ability.
 

Teja

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Rodri and Busquets are unicorns. I know people will say "well scouts should scout better" but I genuinely do not think that there is a "Rodri/Busquets mould" player that we can just go out and buy. Compromise is often necessary, and in recruiting a new midfielder we'll almost certainly have to decide whether we favour defensive nous or playmaking ability.
Not suggesting it's easy to find a Rodri, but the mould exists. Carrick, Alonso, Matic or even a Partey or Xhaka are some more examples. Just saying that type of player more than an Enzo, Thiago or Jorginho.

Maybe the Palace kid that everyone's raving about these days (Adam Wharton)
 

Rozay

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Not suggesting it's easy to find a Rodri, but the mould exists. Carrick, Alonso, Matic or even a Partey or Xhaka are some more examples. Just saying that type of player more than an Enzo, Thiago or Jorginho.

Maybe the Palace kid that everyone's raving about these days (Adam Wharton)
Wharton and Varela are the guys for me.
 

bosskeano

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Wharton and Varela are the guys for me.
i know this isn't a Wharton thread but i was really impressed by him yesterday....very calm on the ball, constantly checking his shoulders to avoid being pressed and a wand of a left foot
 

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If Ten Hag stays then we do need cover for Martinez as we seem incapable of playing well without a progressive passer left-footed CB for some reason.