Ruben Vinagre is a staple of the Portugal national team’s youth setup and has been playing very well for Wolverhampton. So well, in fact, that he is drawing the attention of some big clubs, including Arsenal and Manchester City. With Leighton Baines continuing to age, the left back position is one that needs addressing and Vinagre may be just the player for the job.
Convincing the player to join the Everton project will be by no means assured, but City seem to have their left back of the future already in Benjamin Mendy, and Arsenal seem to have the same in Sead Kolašinac. What Everton offer is the chance to step into a starting role at a major club right away, much like Nikola Vlasic has experienced already.
Vinagre is still very early into his professional career, so he isn’t someone who would step in and immediately replace our long-standing left back, but he has a tool box as a player that certainly shows promise.
He has already displayed his pedigree on the international stage, picking up 29 youth international caps at different age levels, and despite being only 18 has shown a lot of composure at Wolves this season in the Championship.
Looking at this summary provided by Whoscored says a lot of good things to me. Frankly, it does not matter to me whether a fullback is good at aerial duels, that’s not his job. Concentration and holding on to the ball are things that improve as a player gets older, but having a lot of strong attacking qualities while also being a good tackler is exactly what you want to see from a young player out wide.
If we buy Vinagre, it may be a name that gets put on the shelf for a year or two as he matures, but the potential is there for him to be a very strong fullback at an elite level.