AGONA Profile: Sergio Oliveira, PAOK’s new midfield maestro
PAOK completed an impressive signing late in the January transfer window with 26-year-old Sergio Oliveira from FC Porto on a loan deal, with the option to make the move permanent by the end of the season. The AGONA Profile takes a closer look at his career to date.
Early years of development at FC Porto
Born in Pacos de Brandao, Portugal on 2 June, 1992, Oliveira began playing football at an early age before transitioning to his local academy team at Pacos Brandao in 2000 at just eight years of age. In 2002, Sergio Oliveira’s talented traits attracted the attention of FC Porto scouts and was later signed by the club.
He progressed throughout the youth set-up at Porto and thrived under the setup of playing at one of Portugal’s biggest clubs. On 17 October 2009, he made his debut for the Porto senior team in a Portuguese Cup match against Sertanense FC, becoming the youngest player ever to represent Porto’s senior team at just 17 years, four months, and 15 days old. He made the most of his debut as he provided an assist for Hulk in his team’s 4:0 win. Following his stunning senior debut, Oliveira was rewarded with his first professional contract and went on to win the Portuguese Cup with the Dragons. The club also included a 30-million-euro purchase clause in Oliveira’s contract.
Loan spells in Portugal and abroad
The following season saw Porto send Oliveira out on loan to Portuguese club S.C. Beira Mar, where he made six appearances. Throughout the 2011/12 season, he was again loaned out to KV Mechelen in Belgium and then moved back to Portugal to FC Penafiel, before making a return to his parent club, Porto, to play in their B side. The attacking midfielder played in the Portuguese second tier, where he managed to score five goals and provide three assists from 30 appearances.
From 2013 until 2015, he spent two seasons at FC Pacos de Ferreira, where he played his most consistent football throughout his career to date, playing 65 matches and scoring six goals. His solid performances across two seasons allowed him to return back to FC Porto for the following year.
Return back home to FC Porto
Oliveira was made to wait for his opportunity on his return back to Porto, however, once he was given the opportunity to play regular football, he did not let the opportunity go to waste. In his return season, he played 18 games while scoring three goals and providing three assists. During the 2016/17 season, he fell out of favour at the club and was sent out on loan once again, this time to FC Nantes in France, making just six appearances off the bench.
In the 2017/18 season, he returned back to Porto and went on to record his best season numbers wise, scoring four goals and providing three assists. He played a vital role in FC Porto winning the league title for the first time since the 2012/13 season.
His form caught the eye of Portugal national team manager, Fernando Santos, and since 2018, has made three appearances for his country at the senior level.