Reading have made an exciting international deadline-day addition: Porto’s Tomas Esteves. The 18-year-old right back, who is very highly rated in his homeland, has joined on a season-long loan deal.
Talk of this move originated on Sunday afternoon and, by late evening, it was reportedly done. Although there had been some whispers around Reading securing a purchase option at the end of the campaign, this appears to not be the case.
As Sporting Witness explained, Porto had been looking to cash in on Esteves this summer for around €20m. Despite some reported interest from Wolves, who sold right wing-back Matt Doherty to Spurs at the end of August, no move for Esteves materialised and so Porto have ultimately decided to loan him out in the hope of selling him next year.
Veljko Paunovic said of the signing:
“Tomás is a young, talented, versatile full-back, full of promise, potential and a real hunger to succeed. He will add good competition for places amongst our squad and I am delighted he has agreed to join us at Reading.
“I wish him well during his time with his country this week, we look forward to welcoming him to Bearwood and I am excited to start working with him as part of this special group of players.”
Despite having only played three times for Porto’s first team, Esteves’ potential is very big indeed. He was part of the Porto side that won the UEFA Youth League in 2018/19 and was even given the first team’s number-two shirt recently. He was also included on The Guardian’s list of 60 top global young talents in 2019, in which Nuno Travassos described him as:
“...a player that has a seemingly inexhaustible energy. His technical ability is superb and he is also tactically intelligent and a modern right-back in the way that he can stay wide but also go inside to find space if needed.”
He’s even been linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Manchester City were credited with interest last year before an approach from Barcelona was rejected, with Esteves apparently unkeen on the idea of moving into their B team. Borussia Dortmund were thought to be keen a few months ago.
All of that makes wonder how the hell he’s ended up at Reading. If you’re thinking it’s a link through Kia Joorabchian, then no. Esteves is represented by Jorge Mendes’ Gestifute - not Joorabchian.
However Reading have managed this signing, they’ve done very well indeed. Although he’ll take some time to adjust to regular, first-team football in a new league, Esteves should be a very good option at right back in Andy Yiadom’s absence. His quality going forwards gives Reading’s approach play a new dimension, so expect to see Esteves play a part in quite a few Reading attacks this season.