It’s never enough to buy just one or two wonder kids, and Manchester United aren’t shy of packing their youth stables with talented players. Next on the shortlist? Alvaro Vadillo, the 18 year old Spanish winger who plays for Real Betis, already labeled as the new Cristiano Ronaldo, who made a move to Old Trafford at around the same age nine years ago.
After the Chilean Angelo Henriquez and Nick Powell, Ferguson looks at his squads future and sees another need for a very gifted 18 year old, who is the second youngest player to ever play in the Spanish La Liga, making his debut on August 2011, a month before his 17th birthday.
He missed a big chunk of last season after collision with Sergio Ramos left him off the pitches for a few months, and he hasn’t exactly played too much for the senior side, making most of his appearances on Betis B. He has begun playing for the Spanish U-20 side, already earning 5 caps for the side and scoring one goal after starring for the U-17 side previously.
So is this the next Ronaldo? That’s a shot in the dark. Vadillo is a fast and fantastic dribbler, with that flair and wow factor Ronaldo had in his earlier days. The question is if he can develop from that stage into a lethal executioner on the pitch, be it by crosses or by goals, and become an efficient and deadly finisher. So far, Vadillo is treated very cautiously by the club, especially after returning from the torn ligament, bringing him back slowly into action with the B team, yet to make an appearance for the side in the Spanish La Liga this season.
On the sidelines, Manchester United are waiting. AC Milan have also shown interest in the player, but the financial situation at the Italian club makes it reasonable to consider they won’t play a factor if it comes down to a bidding war between Untied and them, or any other resourceful club in Europe. At the moment, with Vadillo yet to actually show anything at the top level, it’s just about scouting and watching from a distance.
The moment he starts playing consecutively for the senior side and even slightly impresses, be sure to see the big fish battling for his talents, with United hoping to have gotten their foot in the door first, with the chance to sign the young talent before other big spenders get in the way.