Porto has already dipped into the transfer market extensively, having already covered the departures of some big names. If there was a position of fragility, whether it is in terms of personnel or depth, it would have to be at the No. 10 position.
Although traditionally a striker or centre-forward, Alberto Bueno has been drafted in as Porto’s ‘creative outlet.’ Looking the part in preseason, the Spaniard looks largely undisputed, with a dearth of talent who are apt at the No. 10 role.
Irrespective of that, the likes of Oliver Torres, Lucas Lima, Bernard and Braga’s Rafa have all been targeted as contenders, although a move looks unlikely for all of them.
Congruently, with the centre of defense a problematic area last season, Os Dragões may look to strengthen their options at centre-half. With Martins Indi yet to impress having lost his starting spot to Marcano, and Lichnovsky the only other option aside from the Dutch international.
Stuttgart centre-back Antonio Rüdiger had been mentioned as a possible reinforcement after speculation surrounding Maicon’s exit to Fenerbahçe, in light of Diego Reyes and Adboulaye Ba’s moves abroad on loan. Any talk of a tranfer for the 22-year-old German international has disspiated, with Simon Kjaer’s move to the Turkish giants assuring Maicon will stay put as Porto’s skipper, although a move for his potential partner in the centre of defence is not out of the question.
Young talents with a shot this season
Porto’s golden boy and fan favorite Ruben Neves will be looking to build on a successful last campaign where he featured predominately off the bench. A dream debut where he scored his first goal for Os Dragões, the Olival graduate’s path to the starting eleven was blocked by Casemiro. The likes of Danilo Pereira, Imbula and André André will provide even stiffer competition, but Neves has already earmarked by Lopetegui as a crucial squad member and contender for the No. 6 spot.
Congruently, U20 FIFA World Cup superstar and cited future Portugal No. 9 André Silva has impressed, scoring a brace in preseason having been picked ahead of Gonçalo Paciência who’s been loaned out to Académica de Coimbra. Also, Chilean youngster Igor Lichnovsky will have his opportunities as Porto’s 4th choice centre-back after Diego Reyes was loaned out to Real Sociedad.