- Premier League
- EFL Championship
- Other Top Clubs
- Scout Reports
Watford are set to add another new face to their squad as the Telegraph reports that the Hornets are close to complete the signing of winger Andre Carrillo on a season-long loan from Portuguese club SL Benfica.
The 26-year old, when signed, will become the 8th summer signing for the club, as new manager Marco Silva sets out to improve the fortunes of the club in the new Premier League season. The gaffer refused to get drawn into shedding light over the negotiations in a recent interview but did say that Carrillo is a player he knows very well. As quoted by Sky Sports, he said:
“I don’t want to talk at the moment, not only about Carrillo, I don’t want to talk about the players of other teams. At this moment he is a Benfica player, I don’t want to talk about the player.
“If you ask me if I know the player, of course I know the player. He is a player who worked with me at Sporting. He is a player I know very well but at this moment he is a Benfica player.”
Despite Silva’s refusal to comment on the speculations, a deal is believed to be close to completion and here we take a look at who Andre Carrillo is and what he will offer the Hornets, if signed.
Born in Lima, Peru, on 14 June, 1991, Andre Carrillo began his footballing career with the youth academy of hometown club Esther Grande de Bentin in 2004. Having spent three years there, he moved to the academy of Alianza Lima in 2007. Two years after his move, Carrillo broke into the Alianza’s first-team and made his senior debut for the club in December 2009.
Having made 21 appearances over the next two years for the club, in which he scored three times, Carrillo was snapped up by Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2011 on a five-year contract. He was inducted into the senior team straight away and made his debut in the Portuguese league in September 2011. He finished his first season with 3 goals and 9 assists in 46 games.
Carrillo continued to enhance his reputation in Portugal and enjoyed his best season in 2014/15 when he managed to score 7 goals and 18 assists in 48 games in all competitions, going on to win the Portuguese Cup, under current Watford boss Marco Silva.
However, he played just 7 times in the 2015/16 campaign as Sporting suspended him in September for his refusal to sign a new contract that was set to expire in the subsequent summer. Carrillo agreed on a five-year deal with SL Benfica in February 2016 and completed the Bosman transfer once the transfer window opened.
In his debut season for Benfica, he made 32 appearances, scoring 3 and assisting 3, helping them win the Portuguese league title and the Portuguese Cup, along with the Super Cup.
Having represented the Peru U-20 side 4 times, Carrillo made his debut for the senior side in July 2011 and till date, has played 36 times, scoring 3 goals.
Primarily a right-sided winger, Carrillo can play on the opposite flank with equal comfort and throughout his career, he has been used as a No.10, or an auxiliary striker alongside a target man on a number of occasions.
The 26-year old is known for his blistering pace and trickery on the ball, and he effortlessly glides past defenders in the attacking third. His close control when on the ball, combined with his ability to weave past opponents with speed and power make him a real asset. The Peruvian is someone who can go wide or cut inside, and can hit a fierce shot at goal with his stronger right-foot.
Explosive, with pace to burn, technically gifted and with the knack of scoring and creating chances, Carrillo could turn out to be the right personnel on the right flank in the 4-3-3 system that Silva is trying to implement at Watford this season.
The Telegraph claims that the loan deal is close to a completion and it will come in with an option to make the transfer a permanent one for a fee around £13.5million.
Carrillo is a player with a great degree of top level experience. He is someone who the manager knows well and has worked with before. In fact, he enjoyed his best year in Portugal under Silva, at Sporting in 2014/15. If the former Hull City boss manages to get the best out of him again, Watford will have a struck a bargain, considering that he is still 26 years of age and is yet to hit his peak.