Sheffield Wednesday: Joao remains a work in progress, concedes Owls chief

Carlos Carvalhal and Lucas Joao
Carlos Carvalhal and Lucas Joao

Boss Carlos Carvalhal insists Owls striker Lucas Joao will come good despite his inconsistent first year in English football.

By his own admission, Joao found it “difficult” at times last season after arriving from Primeira Liga side Nacional.

Over half of Joao’s 48 appearances in Wednesday colours came as a substitute last term as the Hillsborough club narrowly missed out on promotion.

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Despite claiming eight goals, the 22-year-old, who featured in Portugal’s friendlies against Russia and Luxembourg last November, was not included in the national team’s squad for this summer’s Euros.

Nonetheless, Carvalhal is predicting big things from Angolan-born Joao.

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Speaking in an interview with France Football, Carvalhal reiterated his belief that Joao can “go very far” in the sport.

“Lucas has a big potential,” he said. “In football, many players have great potential but fail to reach the top.

“Lucas has all the potential, the head of the game, the game of both feet, speed ... it is still in training.”

While Carvalhal is contracted to Wednesday until 2019, the head coach admits he intends on returning to his homeland in the future.

But he stressed: “I left Portugal, Sporting, in 2010. One day I will come back because it’s my country, but I do not know when. I do not plan on my career. My plan is to prepare for next season.”

Meanwhile, Director of International Recruitment Phubate Piempongsant, who moved to Hillsborough in December 2015, has left the club.

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