Arsenal: 5 Porto players who shone in the PL amid transfer links to Pepe
FC Porto has long been a hotbed for exciting talents in football, and Arsenal are now reportedly interested in their latest star player in Brazilian attacker Pepe.
According to reports, the Gunners have set their sights on the 25-year-old winger as Mikel Arteta looks to strengthen his attacking options for next season, with Nicolas Pepe set to depart north London after struggling for regular minutes.
With Arsenal now looking at Porto’s Pepe as a potential summer signing if reports are to be believed, we look at five players who made the move from the Portuguese giants to the Premier League and become immediate hits in the English top-flight.
After winning the UEFA Champions League with Porto in 2004, Ricardo Carvalho joined Jose Mourinho in the Premier League with Chelsea, and the Portuguese defender made a blinding start to life in west London.
Alongside John Terry, the centre-back guided the Blues to their first domestic title in 50 years and formed the spine of a defence that to this day has the best defensive record in Premier League history, with Carvalho and company conceding just 15 goals all season.
From one Premier League icon to a cult hero at Ewood Park, Benni McCarthy joined Blackburn Rovers in 2006 and instantly established himself as one of the best strikers in the league, with the South African bagging 24 goals in his first year in England.
Whilst McCarthy’s time with Blackburn ended in disappointment, the entertaining forward was one of the best in England on his day, and the former Porto star still remains fondly remembered at Blackburn after his three and a half seasons at the club.
Ruben Neves’ move to Wolves when they were still in the Championship was one of the shock signings of the last decade in English football, yet despite claims that the midfielder would struggle to adapt, the youngest captain in Porto’s history never missed a beat.
Neves played a key role in getting Wolves back into the Premier League and then to a seventh-place finish in their first year back in the English top-flight, with the midfielder now a reported £50m target for Tottenham this summer and set for a huge move from Molineux in the coming months.
Another recent addition to the Premier League who joined from Porto was Ricardo Pereira, who joined Leicester City in 2018 and quickly asserted himself as one of the most exciting right-backs in the Premier League.
Although an ACL injury ruled the defender out for most of 2020, Pereira has continued to impress for the Foxes since the harrowing time out on the sideline, with the defender now also a regular for Portugal at an international level.
The newest Porto addition to the Premier League and probably the most electric edition yet, Luis Diaz signed for Liverpool this January and has already become a fan favourite at Anfield and a player who could become an icon for the Reds for years to come.
Blessed with pace and tricky, Diaz has taken to life with Liverpool like a duck to water, and huge goals and assists in the Champions League and Premier League have been huge in Jurgen Klopp’s quest to win an unprecedented quadruple.
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