Journalist: Too soon for Antonio Silva to make big move amid Manchester United interest

We’re delighted to welcome freelance journalist Alex Barker, also known as Euro Expert, who has worked for Breaking The Lines, GFFN and more, as our exclusive columnist. Each week he will be giving his views on the biggest talking points on Wonderkids across the UK…

Antonio Silva is still too raw for a move to Manchester United or Liverpool despite his excellent form for Benfica his season, according to Alex Barker.

The 18-year-old central defender has broken into the Eagles team this season and helped them to the top of the Primera Liga table and into the round of 16 in the Champions League, ahead of Serie A giants Juventus.

His form has seen him linked with a mega-money move to the Premier League with both Manchester United and Liverpool linked, but our European expert journalist believes his next step should be to a middling club, rather than one of Europe’s giants.

“He’s someone I’ve been keeping an eye on because I’ve been watching Benfica under Roger Schmidt and they’ve been really exciting,” he told The Football Wonderkids.

“Silva, he wears the number 66 on the pitch and he stands out, he’s quite tall and quite quick. He’s getting a lot of minutes this year and he got his goal against Juventus in the Champions League.

“I watched them against Porto and he started that game a bit ropey. He’s only 18, so he’s still quite raw. I wouldn’t be dragging him into a Premier League team right away, or even a top Serie A sort of team. You’d want him to take the next step to a middling club.

“But the signs are great. To be getting these minutes and even be making the odd raw error at this age is really interesting stuff.

“He’s under a really good coach in Roger Schmidt. They’re unbeaten at the top and they look absolutely rampant. It’s a very good environment for him and personally I hope he stays there for a little while.

“His stand-out attribute at this age is his physicality. There were a couple of errors with his passing against Porto, but physically he fits right in.

“Portuguese football is dominated by South American players and is really physical, so the fact he doesn’t look out of place in that league or in the Champions League is exciting.

Silva has scored three times this season, once against Juventus in the Champions League and twice most recently this weekend in a 5-1 win over Estoril (6 November).

In other Manchester United news, scouting expert feels £85m deal for Antony is a “huge risk”