Renato Sanches endured a disappointing debut for Swansea City but there’s more to come from the talented young midfielder.
He was tipped as one of the signings of the summer in the Premier League when he joined Swansea City on deadline day.
However, the Renato Sanches had a debut to forget as Newcastle United took three points from the Liberty Stadium.
Sanches was singled out for criticism on his debut as he failed to get a shot on target or make a key pass during his 69-minute display.
The midfielder became renowned for keeping the ball during his excellent performances in Portugal’s Euro 2016 victory.
However, he couldn’t even manage that on his debut with the Swans, being dispossessed 23 times across the course of the afternoon.
So a debut to forget, but there’s no need to panic just yet, and Paul Clement certainly won’t be.
While the rest of the Premier League was getting carried away with the signing of Sanches, you can bet Paul Clement remained realistic.
He will have known that Sanches is nowhere near the finished article some make him out to be, and he will have been aware that the more Swansea City put into the midfielder, the more they will get back.
Still just 20-year-old, Sanches’ career peaked early in many ways as he became the star of Euro 2016, and it was enough for Bayern Munich to snap him up for a massive £31 million.
However, he hasn’t hit the heights expected of him with the German club, and having lost his place in the Portugal senior side, he couldn’t even nail down a spot in the under-21 side during this summer’s Euro campaign.
Sanches is a player with fragile confidence after what he will see as a disastrous year by his standards, and Swansea need to carefully rebuild his mindset.
Paul Clement has been entrusted with doing just that by good friend Carlo Ancelotti, but the Swans boss will be all too aware of how difficult it will be.
Clement has worked with youngsters throughout his career, and he will have had experience with players who possess poor attitudes, something Sanches has been accused of.
Now, all this isn’t to discredit Sanches, there’s no doubt that he has the ability to become a world-class footballing talent.
However, he’s nowhere near that just yet and at the tender age of 20, he’s way off the finished article.
Swansea City are offering him the perfect chance to become a better player in one of the most competitive leagues in the world, and in return, they will be hoping to benefit from his development.
But he’s still a young player, and despite being something of a marquee signing, he isn’t the player the Swans should be placing all their hopes upon.
Paul Clement will have known it will take work for Sanches to display the best of his form in SA1 and the less pressure placed upon him, the better.
A nightmare debut it may have been for Sanches, but judge him when his confidence levels are back to where they should be, that’s when you’ll see a true reflection of the player he is.