Analysis: Wolves' promising Portuguese starlet looking to stake his claim 
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Vitinha of Wolves in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on December 29, 2020 in Manchester, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Wolverhampton Wanderers have no shortage of enigmatic, playmaking midfielders from Portugal, with Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho devising a formidable alliance as they play pivotal roles for the midlands club.

For a gifted young Portuguese talent such as Vitinha looking to emulate the creative flair, dynamic passing and tactical intellect possessed and nurtured by his established compatriots, there are few football teams where he would be better situated.

Vitinha offered reflection on the beginning of his propitious career in England, telling Wolves.co.uk:

“It’s a new country, a new challenge for me. It’s the first time I’ve left my home country and my teammates have been great, the club is amazing, it’s huge and I’m very happy to be here. My transfer to Wolves was perfect.”

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  • A slow, but encouraging start 

Vitinha has played a peripheral role since his arrival at Wolves on loan from FC Porto, and with an option-to-buy clause in the contract, the player will be determined to prove his worth and cement a permanent position in Nuno Espirito Santo's squad.

Vitinha has indeed found himself restricted to ten appearances and 174 minutes of action in the Premier League, registering a single contribution after assisting Pedro Neto to score a dramatic late equaliser against Chelsea at the Molineux.  

From the limited time the vibrant midfielder has spent on the pitch for Wolves, he has emanated a feeling of real class, demonstrating capable defensive abilities and a natural instinct for attacking the opposition area.

Vitinha has so far achieved an exemplary pass success rate of 89.3% in the Premier League, albeit with less than two full matches of game time under his belt, and has demonstrated an aptitude for ball retention and recovery.

After making his first start of the season against Manchester United in December, Vitinha effectively showcased his qualities as he remained assured, not appearing overwhelmed by the occasion.

Notably, Paul Pogba was left red-faced after Vitinha incisively placed the ball through his legs with a well-positioned pass, as the under-21 international succeeded in winning 100% of his duels and dribbles.

There have been striking comparisons made between Vitinha and Moutinho, with many believing the young player to be endowed with qualities and similarities that make him Moutinho’s natural successor for the national team.

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  • Golden Generation

Vitinha played a prominent role for Porto’s ‘golden generation’ of talented individuals that won the 18/19 UEFA Youth League, playing in every match as they reached the final and setting up a goal in the 3-0 semi-final triumph against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

Despite a lack of first-team minutes throughout his budding career, Vitinha has exhibited his potential through a number of consistent displays at youth level both domestically and internationally.

Vitinha looks intelligent and confident when guiding the ball through the thirds, providing the presence of a creative outlet, advancing play and creating opportunities for his side.

With still only three starts across all competitions for the talented youngster, there is plenty of room for improvement as Vitinha seeks to cement an influential role in Santo’s set-up.

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