AGONAsport Scouting Report: Who is new Olympiacos winger Daniel Podence
Earlier this week, Olympiacos pinched former Sporting Lisbon winger Daniel Podence with a reported five-year contract. In connection with the transfer, AGONAsport takes a closer look at his career to date.
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Born in Oeiras, an urban region located close to Portuguese capital Lisbon, Daniel Podence joined the Belenenses system when eight years of age. However, Podence would only stay at Belenenses for 24 months, picked up by Sporting Lisbon after he attracted the club’s attention with his obvious talent.
Playing for Sporting (a club which nurtured the likes of Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo) comes with responsibility, but Podence proved his worth and remained with the organisation for a large 13 years. Having progressed through the Sporting youth set-up, he eventually made his professional debut on February 2, 2013, turning out for Sporting’s reserves in a 0:0 draw against C.S. Maritimo B in the Segunda Liga.
PROGRESSING TO SENIOR LEVEL
Slowly knocking on the door of the Sporting first team, the winger competed in his maiden game at the top level in December 2014, contributing with an assist in a 2:0 win over Guimaraes. Interestingly, it was ex-Olympiacos boss Marco Silva who gave Podence his first taste of football with Sporting’s senior team, gifting him game time in six cup matches in the 2014/2015 season.
It was the 2016/2017 campaign where Podence really began to make his mark. Initially, he was sent out on loan to Moreirense in August 2016, but Jorge Jesus recalled him to parent club Sporting in the winter transfer window.
INJURY STRIKES AT SPORTING
Podence started the 2017/2018 season as a key member of the Sporting squad, but disaster struck in January when he received a fractured foot. Unfortunately, that injury kept Podence out of the team for four months, stuck on the sidelines as the club reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League, lost in the Portuguese Cup final and finished third in the domestic league.
Just like plenty of Sporting teammates, he decided to terminate his contract with the club in early June, leaving his boyhood team because of serious internal matters. On July 9, Olympiacos came calling, snapping Podence up with a five-year contract. Legal issues with Sporting are yet to be sorted out.
It’s worth pointing out that although Podence hasn’t played for the main Portuguese team, he represented Portugal as a youth, in particular scoring three goals in nine matches with the under 21’s.
He’s a right winger on paper, however versatility is a quality which Podence certainly boasts, capable of playing anywhere behind the main striker. Possessing a quick turn of pace, Podence is an expert at sprinting past his opponents with sharp moves, creating lots of opportunities in the process. He isn’t shy of attempting mazy runs, often making life difficult for defences and brilliant when 1-on-1. If we search for weaknesses in Podence’s game, he’s criticized for lacking physical strength and not scoring enough goals. In his entire club career, Podence has only registered 13 professional goals.
Taking into account that Olympiacos have already signed Lazaros Christodoulopoulos and Giannis Fetfatzidis this summer, both at their best on the right flank, it will be fascinating to see where manager Pedro Martins opts to play Podence. Olympiacos haven’t signed the 22-year old to keep the bench warm.