Remember Renato Sanches? Well, you’re about to see a lot more of him again.
The 2016 Golden Boy has put pen to paper with French giants PSG on a deal that runs until 2027 and will see him lining up with the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe this season.
Despite a glittering start to life as a footballer, it’s been a rollercoaster ride to this point for the Portugal international.
Sanches, now 24, burst onto the scene with Benfica in 2015 and quickly secured a EUR35 million transfer to Bayern Munich.
The youngster struggled from the outset in Germany and never quite overcame a nervy debut as he struggled to play regularly, making just 53 appearances across four years.
While at Bayern, Sanches also had a loan move to the Premier League with Swansea City, but this didn’t go to plan either with injury and form doing him no favours while in England.
In 2019, Bayern agreed to sell Sanches to Lille for a EUR10m loss and he quickly showed signs of his former self as he played regularly in France.
The following season the Portuguese midfielder was key as Lille stunned PSG to claim the 2020-21 Ligue 1 title.
Sanches continued to play consistently well for Lille last season, featuring in the UEFA Champions League and chipping in with five assists in Ligue 1.
The 24-year-old is also now a regular for the Portugal national team again after a lean few years and made 10 appearances for the side in 2021.
With his career now in another upswing, Sanches is bound for Paris and it’s a move that could well take his game to new heights.
Renato Sanches and PSG a perfect combination
After three seasons in Ligue 1, Sanches has signed for the competition’s heavyweight and reigning champion.
Signed as a likely replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, the midfielder will get to anchor a star-studded PSG side and should fit in seamlessly considering his existing connections.
Sanches played under new PSG manager Christophe Galtier at Lille and joins a growing contingent of Portuguese players at the club.
“I’m sure that I’ve made the right choice by signing for the club,” Sanches told PSG’s website.
“I chose Paris Saint-Germain because I think that it’s the best project for me. Staying in France was important to me as I know this league already.
“I’m obviously happy to be joining up with some of my Portuguese compatriots. That could also make my integration easier.
“I already know Nuno Mendes and Danilo Pereira but not yet Vitinha. I spoke to Nuno before I signed and he had good things to say about Paris Saint-Germain.”
Injuries remain one concern for Sanches, who missed 13 games last season for Lille as a result of them, but PSG are well equipped to handle any issues and should be able to keep their new man fit and firing.
Renato Sanches’ Premier League nightmare
As Sanches looks forward to a season linking up with Messi and fellow Golden Boy Mbappe, his 2017-18 season in the Premier League is quickly becoming a distant memory.
Swansea fans probably haven’t been so quick to forget his disappointing stint however.
After failing to secure game time at Bayern, Sanches signed for Swansea on loan in August 2017 too much fanfare.
The midfielder never lived up to the hype though, making just 15 appearances as injury sidelined him for much of the season.
Sanches also failed to impress when he was on the pitch with his pass to a billboard going down in Premier League folklore for the wrong reasons.
Swansea’s manager at the time Carlos Carvalhal also didn’t hold back in his assessment of Sanches stint with the club.
“Renato knows he has had a very bad season,” Carvalhal told The Telegraph at the time.
“He is not at the level he was and when he had the injury in January, it finished him.
“Renato has a big talent, but he has much to learn. He stopped learning when he left Benfica and went to one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
Sanches did seem to learn from his forgettable Premier League experience, however, and he’ll be looking to turn heads for the right reasons at PSG this season.