Cardoso eyeing path to Hammers’ first team

West Ham United
West Ham

West Ham youngster Goncalo Cardoso has set his sights on the first team after some impressive displays for the under-23s.

The Hammers handed over £2.7million to snap up the central defender from Portuguese outfit Boavista over the summer.

Former Boavista head coach Jorge Simao rated Cardoso very highly and he made 18 appearances for Os Axadrezados across all competitions last season as they finished eighth in the Primeira Liga.

Cardoso was one of seven new arrivals at the London Stadium over the summer, although he was signed very much with the future in mind.

Manuel Pellegrini has yet to bring him into the first-team picture and has left Cardoso with the under-23s to develop in the early stages of 2019-20.

He has become a regular fixture for the under-23s, who are unbeaten this season, after featuring on five occasions.

The early signs certainly look positive for the Portugal under-19 international and he is already dreaming of appearing in the Premier League.

“For me, the Premier League is the best league in the world. It’s another level in terms of speed. Everything is faster here, it’s a dream,” Cardoso told West Ham’s official website.

“I work every single day; I try and work every single day and do the best that I can to give the manager another option.”

Angelo Ogbonna and Issa Diop have been the preferred options for Pellegrini at senior level this season, while Fabian Balbuena and Winston Reid are also ahead of him in the pecking order.

Unfortunately for Cardoso, he won’t be afforded the chance to earn minutes in the Carabao Cup, when managers often rotate, after West Ham crashed out of the competition to Oxford last month.

If he continues to perform for the under-23s then Pellegrini may consider him for FA Cup action early in 2020.