Vitinha, Porto, PSG

Vitinha, PSG's new midfield magician

Vitinha, PSG's new midfield magician

Publish on 07/05 at 13:42


Paris Saint-Germain have signed their first new player of the post-Mauricio Pochettino era in Vitinha, but what else is there to know about the Portugal midfielder?

Granted, PSG have already acquired Nuno Mendes on a permanent deal from Sporting Lisbon, but the left-back made 37 appearances under Pochettino whilst on loan last season.


Vitinha is a Porto academy graduate who spent the 2020/21 campaign in England's Premier League on loan with Wolverhampton Wanderers, and will now add some welcome verve to the Paris midfield.

Back story:


Born in Santo Tirso to the north of Porto the day before Valentine's Day in 2000, Vitinha shares a hometown with former international footballers Alberto Festa, Ricardo Rocha and Pedro Moutinho, and he soon fell in love with the sport himself, joining Porto's academy aged 11.


In the same age group as recent Arsenal arrival Fabio Vieira, the pair combined to lift Porto to their first ever UEFA Youth League title in 2019, and Vitinha was handed his full debut soon after, coming off the bench in a 2-1 cup win over Varzim a month before his 20th birthday.


Vitinha scored nine goals in 17 games with Porto B that season, also racking up enough first-team minutes to earn medals for their Portuguese league and cup double in 2020. A single season at Wolves - helping them maintain their top-flight status - followed, before he returned to Porto.


Previously a bit-part player, Vitinha was a cornerstone for Porto when they won their second domestic double in three years last season, featuring in 30 of a possible 34 league games. Now also a full Portugal international, PSG have acquired a player ready to hit their prime.



Style of play:


Vitinha is a central midfielder who enjoys taking the ball off the toe of his centre-back before distributing to a teammate near or far, but always with forward momentum in mind. His skill and quick control make it almost impossible for the opposition press to work when he is in possession.


Four goals and five assists in 37 domestic games last season are the numbers of a player who often plays the pass before the pass, and PSG's attacking assets like Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi will be delighted to have him among their number next season.



Current campaign:


Vitinha scored what proved to be the winning goal as Porto completed their domestic double with victory over Tondela in the Portuguese cup final in May before starting Portugal's UEFA Nations League games against the Czech Republic and Switzerland in June.


Manchester United and Arsenal were among those reportedly plotting to bring Vitinha back to England this summer, but the new project in Paris proved too good to turn down, and the 22-year-old signed on the dotted line on 1 July, and a debut in Japan - where PSG will take on Kawasaki Frontale, Urawa Red Diamonds and Gamba Osaka - now lies in wait.


What they said:


"I don't like to talk about myself too much. I'd rather have other people talk about me and give their opinion. But to sum up, I am a technical player, intelligent, who thinks the game through and always tries to play for the team, always doing what is best for the team.


- Vitinha on the skill-set that so attracted PSG.


"A tribute like this, at the school where I went, is a huge responsibility that forces me day by day to work to inspire all these children with good examples. It is a duty and an obligation. The dream started here."


- Vitinha at the inauguration of a football pitch named in his honour in Santo Tiro recently.