Carlos Borges (Manchester City) – Scout Report

Carlos Borges is a 19-year-old winger who currently plays for Manchester City U21 in the Premier League 2. He is on the verge of joining AFC Ajax, as reported by Fabrizio Romano. Borges started his youth career at Sintra and Sporting CP in Portugal, before joining Manchester City in the summer of 2014. The Portuguese winger with Bissau-Guinean roots impressed for the English side in both the U18 and U21 competition, contributing to 68 goals in 63 games in the U18 Premier League and Premier League 2, whilst also being named as the best player of the Premier League 2 in the most recent season.

The winger stands at 1.69 meters and has an average build. He has good strength in his legs and excellent core strength. As a result, Carlos Borges displays good strength in duels with his back towards the goal. He has decent strength in shoulder-to-shoulder duels. Borges has a very explosive acceleration on the first meters, while also displaying excellent speed over long distances. He always manages to create separation from his marker. His athleticism and balance help him to jump over tackles and glide past players while dribbling. The Portuguese youth international has decent changes of directions and very good footwork in tight spaces. Carlos Borges has good jumping reach but average timing in aerial duels.

Carlos Borges’ strongest ability is his well-timed, diagonal runs in behind. Borges likes to start out wide to then make a diagonal run in behind. The defender often does not see his run coming and can’t close the gap as Borges is always quicker. The winger also has a very good sense of space in the box, making excellent runs into the box and always getting into the right position for a potential tap-in. Borges has good vision in congested areas, displaying his very quick decision-making and good technical ability to put his teammates through on goal. Though, he sporadically does not make the right decision in front of goal. Defensively, Borges can have the tendency to stay forward and not transition from attacking to defending quickly enough.

The winger has good technical ability. Carlos Borges has good close control while carrying the ball at full speed. Borges always makes his actions in attacking 1v1s at full speed, making it hard to stop the Portuguese youth international. He is capable of getting past the opponent on both sides and easily creates separation from his marker with his explosiveness on the first meters. After getting past his opponent on the outside, Borges often succesfully looks for cut-backs into the box or he waits for the left-back to make an overlapping run. He has gotten several assists from cut-backs. His passing technique over short distances is good and clean, but he can occasionally be sloppy with his passing despite also showing signs of being a good one-touch passer in small spaces.

Carlos Borges often gets into scoring position after making good runs, but his finishing can sometimes be a bit sloppy. He strikes the ball well with both feet, but sometimes misses the target from good angles. Though, with his goal-scoring record, this should not be an issue going forward. The winger has an excellent crossing technique from deep, whipping the ball into the box with good curve between the goalkeeper and defensive line.

The Portuguese youth international is a natural left-winger but I believe he will play as a right-winger for Ajax. I think he does not need much time to adapt to playing on the right wing. He has the level to be a starter for Ajax and the potential to outgrow Ajax in two seasons. Borges could potentially play as a striker for Ajax with his excellent runs, movement in the box and close control, but I believe Ajax is looking for a different profile up top.

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