'Sanches can shine for us'

3rd January 2018
First team

Carlos Carvalhal reckons Renato Sanches is on the up at Swansea City and believes he can be an important player this season.

Sanches was one of the Swans’ star performers as they produced a spirited display against Tottenham on Tuesday night.

The on-loan Bayern Munich midfielder had also impressed in Saturday’s win at Watford having been drafted back into the side.

Sanches had not started a game in a month until the trip to Vicarage Road.

But Carvalhal’s decision to bring him back into the fold is already paying dividends, with Sanches producing arguably the two best displays of his time in Wales under his new manager.

“I think after three days he has jumped to another level,” Carvalhal said, “and I am sure he will play at a lot better level in the future.

“He is a really good player, but he isn’t a player who you can tell just to go and play.

“I think he needs a role and he needs confidence. If he has those things, I believe he will have a very good second half of the season.”

Sanches has not found life easy since moving to Wales at the end of the summer transfer window.

After a difficult first season at Bayern Munich, the Euro 2016 winner has struggled to find his best form on a consistent basis in a Swans shirt.

But his performances in the first few days of Carvalhal’s reign have offered considerable hope for what remains of the season.

“Renato is just 20,” Carvalhal added. “He is a boy and he is still improving, and because he went to Bayern Munich doesn’t mean he knows everything about football.

“He is in the process of becoming a better player.

“He needs to improve, but he did very well at Benfica and with the Portugal national team and he needs confidence.

“We gave him a role in the Watford game and we gave him a clear role against Tottenham also.

“In the second half especially against Tottenham, he played at a better level.”

Carvalhal has played down the idea that he will get more out of Sanches because they are both Portuguese.

“I don’t communicate too much with him, and most of the time I communicate with him in English just like all the players,” he explained.

“What I say to him is the same thing I try to say to all the players. I try to give them confidence and get them to believe in themselves, as well as giving them a clear role when we have the ball, when we don’t have the ball and when we win or lose the ball.”