7 Players Signed From Sporting CP By Premier League Clubs & Assessing How Successful They Were

Sporting CP is a club renowned for producing exciting young talent and then selling them on for reasonable transfer fees. On Deadline Day alone four Sporting CP players were involved in moves to Premier League sides. Whilst Leicester City's 14 second too-late acquisition of midfielder Adrien Silva means he wont be able to feature for the Foxes until January, West Ham also saw a club-record move for William Carvalho fail to materialise. 


Newly promoted Brighton secured the signing of right-back Ezequiel Schelotto from Sporting on Deadline Day as well as Watford finding their much needed left-back signing in the form of Marvin Zeegelaar at the Lisbon based club.


Here's a look at seven players who have been signed by Premier League clubs from the Portuguese side and how successful they were.

7. Marcos Rojo - Manchester United

Marcos Rojo joined Sporting CP from Russian side Spartak Moscow in the summer of 2012 for a fee of £3.5m when he was 22 years old. 


Following two promising seasons in Lisbon and a successful World Cup campaign for Argentina Rojo submitted a transfer request in August 2014 in an attempt to force through a move to Manchester United


Rojo eventually signed for the Red Devils for a fee of £16m in the summer of 2014 and was assigned the number five shirt upon his arrival. However, the left-sided defender's career in Manchester has been plagued by injuries. 


He has made just over 50 appearances for United so far but is currently sidelined with an injury he sustained in April 2017, it is yet to be seen how successful Rojo will be in a Manchester United shirt.   

6. Tiago Ilori - Liverpool

Tiago Ilori joined Sporting CP as a 13-year-old boy and made his professional debut for the club at the age of 18. Having made less than 20 competitive appearances for his boyhood club Ilori was sold to Liverpool for a fee of £7m in the summer of 2013.  


During his time at Liverpool Ilori was loaned out to Granada, Bordeaux and Aston Villa. After failing to make an appearance on loan at Aston Villa, Ilori was recalled by Liverpool in January 2016 and given his chance in three FA Cup games to prove himself. 


However, Ilori failed to convince Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp he was worth keeping and within a month he was sold to Championship side Reading for £3.75m. Ilori failed to make a single Premier League appearance for the Reds and will clearly be deemed a failure at Anfield.    

5. Islam Slimani - Leicester City

Islam Slimani joined Sporting CP from CR Belouizdad for a nominal fee in the summer of 2013. The Algerian scored a total of 48 goals in 82 league appearances for the Lisbon based side during his three seasons at the club. 


Slimani's sensational third season in Portugal, in which he scored 27 league goals, convinced Leicester City to shell out a club record fee of £28m for him in August 2016. Leicester who had won the Premier League a few months before Slimani arrived struggled to reproduce the 2015/16 winning formula that saw them defy all the odds and lift the Premier League. 


Islam Slimani made a total of 29 appearances and scored eight goals in all competitions for the Foxes in his first season in England. However, Slimani has slipped to fourth-choice striker under Craig Shakespeare this season and looks to be an expensive mistake made by Leicester.  

4. Ricky van Wolfswinkel - Norwich

Ricky van Wolfswinkel joined Sporting CP from Dutch side Utrecht for a fee of just under £5m in 2011. The Dutchman scored 14 league goals in each of his two seasons in Lisbon before Norwich signed him for £10m in the summer of 2013. 


Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored on his Premier League debut for Norwich to rescue them a point against Everton in a 2-2 draw. However, van Wolfswinkel would go onto make a further 24 Premier League appearances for Norwich that season without scoring as the Canneries were relegated.


The Dutch striker was loaned out to Saint-Etienne and Real Betis for the next two seasons before being sold to Eredivisie side Vitesse Arnhem in the summer of 2016. Ricky van Wolfswinkel will be regarded as a Premier League flop by anyone associated with Norwich City. 

3. Eric Dier - Tottenham

Eric Dier joined Sporting CP as a nine year old boy and made his professional debut for the Portuguese side in 2012 when he was 18 years old. 


During his two seasons with the Sporting CP first team Dier made just over 30 appearances for the Lisbon-based club before Tottenham signed him for £4m in the summer of 2014. Whilst at Spurs Dier has developed into an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino's team as well as a senior England international. 


Dier who can play a number of positions in defence and midfield has made over 100 appearances for Tottenham and has over 20 caps for England. The 23-year-old has been a complete success in the Premier League and Spurs will be hoping they can hang onto him for the foreseeable future.   

2. Nani - Manchester United

Nani joined Sporting CP as a 17-year-old and after two seasons with their youth team he made his professional debut in 2005 at the age of 19.


Nani became a fans' favourite and a vital player for Sporting CP during his two seasons in Lisbon, he made nearly 60 appearances and scored 11 goals whilst at the Portuguese club. In the summer of 2007 Nani was sold to Manchester United for £20m at the age of 21. 


Nani spent seven seasons at Old Trafford having originally signed on a five-year contract. During his time in Manchester Nani helped the Red Devils win four Premier League titles and lift the Champions League in the 2007/08 season. 


Nani made 230 appearances and scored 40 goals for United in all competitions before being sold to Fenerbahce in 2015 following a season-long loan spell at former club Sporting CP for the 2014/15 season. Nani must be considered a successful purchase by the Red Devils due to the longevity of his United career.     

1. Cristiano Ronaldo - Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Sporting CP as a 12-year-old boy in 1997 and went on to score twice on his debut for the senior side in 2002 when he was just 17. 


Sporting CP fans would have the pleasure of watching Ronaldo for just one season as he was snapped up by Manchester United for £12m in the summer of 2003. In six seasons at Old Trafford Ronaldo won every trophy available in England including three Premier League titles and the Champions League in the 2007/08 season. Ronaldo also won his first Ballon d'Or in 2008 whilst at Manchester United. 


The Portugal captain left Manchester United for Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 for a world record transfer fee of £80m. Ronaldo has since gone on to win a further three Ballon d'Ors as well as countless other trophies including two La Ligas, three Champions Leagues and a European Championship in 2016 with Portugal. 


Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the best player the Premier League has ever seen and certainly the best signing a Premier League club has made from Sporting CP.


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