When Swansea City managed to convince Renato Sanches to head to the Liberty Stadium in the summer it looked like one of the coups of the transfer window. The Portuguese prospect had shone at the European Championships in 2016, being named the best young player in the competition. Such form had earned him a move to Bayern Munich. There, things had stalled for the young talent, but he was still an eye-catching recruit for the Swans.
However, he struggled to find his best form in South Wales. He ended up out of the team more than he was in it, playing just 704 minutes of Premier League football as Swansea were relegated to the Championship. The ‘highlight’ of his time at the club, arguably his mislayed pass toward an advertising hoarding he mistook for a team-mate v Chelsea in November.
But it seems the Bayern youngster may get a Premier League reprieve. Championship winners Wolverhampton Wanderers are said to be interested in adding the talented midfielder to their Portuguese ranks.
Diario de Noticias have reported that Wolves are keen to bring Sanches to Molineux this summer ahead of a Premier League campaign.
But despite the interest from Wolves, surely a return to Benfica is in the best interests of the young player. That is indeed the thought of outgoing Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal, who was quoted by The Telegraph as stating:
“Renato knows he has had a very bad season. He is not at the level he was and when he had the injury in January, it finished him. He would agree this has been a really bad season for him. Someone told me he could go back to Benfica and if he can, it is the best step for him…
“I think by going back to Benfica and having his friends and mother and father around him – and a good club to support him – he can achieve the best level. He needs to go back to Portugal because he is a boy and he is not ready for Premier League level.”
Whilst a move to Wolves could be beneficial, considering the amount of his countryman at the club, Carvalhal’s point is valid.
The 20-year-old appears to have gone backward since his move to Bayern and the Premier League looked to be a step too far for him last season.
Playing week-in week-out at this intensity was clearly not something Sanches is yet ready to achieve, doing so with Wolves will surely not be any different.
Wolves can be forgiven for their interest in the player. His performances at Euro 2016 were such that his poor form since is often forgotten.
But the best move for the player would be to head home and finish his development. One day, he will surely become the star it seemed he would. But right now, a move to Wolves could just set him back even further.