Player Profile: Ivan Cavaleiro

George Singer 13th July 2019

After stunning the Fulham fanbase by tying key players onto long term contracts, Tony Khan has pulled off his first acquisition of the Summer. In comes Ivan Cavaleiro from Wolves on a season long loan from Wolves, to fill a Sessegnon-shaped hole out on the wing. What can we expect from the Portugese winger? George Singer is here with the important information you need to know!

Key information

Name: Ivan Ricardo Neves Abreu Cavaleiro (Ivan Cavaleiro)
Age: 25
Position: Attacking midfield (Can play either wings or centrally)
Previous clubs: Wolves, Monaco, Deportivo, Benfica

Key Strengths and weaknesses

Ivan Cavaleiro (2017/18, league: Championship)

During Wolves’ canter to the Championship title, Ivan Cavaleiro was relied on heavily as part of a deadly front 3. Most often lining up alongside in a Leo Bonatini and Diogo Jota, Ivan Cavaleiro played a versatile creative role, and was a key cog in their successful side.

Often paired with a flying fullback, Ivan’s speed and natural playmaking ability combined to help Wolves tear Championship defences to pieces, and score 82 goals in the process. Ivan has good control on the ball, an eye for a cross, and has a great knack of finding space in tight defences.

Mitro will be licking his lips at the prospect of Cavaleiro and Bryan combining on the left wing. The Potugese’s speed and agility will naturally draw defenders in, and allow space for the Serbian hitman in the box – where he is most dangerous!

Cavaliero’s average positon map in 2018/19. Mostly deployed on the left, but is equally comfortable on the right too. (credit Wyscout)

Whilst Ivan is an energetic defender, and can contribute to a high press, his tackling isn’t his strength. It’s not often that he is able to win a tackle, so don’t expect him to charge back down the pitch to break up an opposition counter attack.

Instead, it’s more likely that he will work hard in a clear defensive system, and look to apply pressure when the opposition are on the ball. Potentially paired with other energetic forwards, such as Abou and Mitro, Ivan will unlock the ability to employ the high press – something that would no doubt suit our overarching philosophy.

Where will he fit in at Fulham?

With Vietto and Schurrle returning to their parent clubs, and Sessegnon’s departure seemingly inevitable, there’s a clear lack of depth out wide at the Cottage right now.

Our current options include Neeskens Kebano, Floyd Ayite and Aboubakar Kamara. With this in mind, I would expect Ivan to slot in as a first choice winger, most likely on the left hand side. Of the current crop, Abou Kamara is likely to be the first choice out on the right wing. Unless more reinforcements come in, I would expect a front 3 of Cavaleiro, Mitro and Kamara to make the trip to Oakwell Stadium on the 3rd August.

With Ayite and Kebano in their final year of their contracts, and barely seen last season, it’s unlikely they will form the backbone of the side to come. With Cavaleiro being in the final year of his Wolves’ contract, this becomes a great scenario for Fulham: if we like what we see, we can agree a free transfer in January. If we don’t, we leave him alone.

A low risk, high reward transfer for a proven Championship winning winger? Yes please!