Domingos Quina is widely renowned as one of the hottest prospects in European football.
The West Ham United youngster is now a staple of Portugal’s under-19 side and has already made the breakthrough into the senior ranks at the London Stadium.
With ESPN reporting that Manchester United have been watching the midfielder, it seems that the hype surrounding him is very real and he could well be destined to go right to the top of the game.
Having spent time in the youth systems of two Champions League teams, Benfica and Chelsea, Quina first came to international attention as part of his country’s successful under-17 side at last year’s European Championships.
The Hammers snapped him up in the summer of 2016 and manager Slaven Bilic made an immediate effort to include him in the first-team setup.
He played a part in both legs of the Europa League tie against NK Domzale in August of that year, including the club’s first ever fixture at the London Stadium.
After spending the rest of last term honing his skills with the development squad, Quina was bought back into the fold for League Cup fixtures with Cheltenham Town and Bolton Wanderers earlier this season, appearing as a late substitute in both matches.
News of his talents was always likely to spread and now it appears that Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho sent scouts to watch his fellow countryman as Portugal under-19s defeated Spain 2-1 earlier this week.
Quina netted the equaliser in that clash, meaning that interest in his services is likely to intensify.
However, the starlet, who turns 18 this Saturday, should instead be focused on breaking into West Ham’s starting XI under new boss David Moyes.
Central midfield is an area in which the Irons have struggled thus far in the current campaign, with captain Mark Noble now 30 years of age and without a consistent partner in the middle of the park.
There is a real opportunity for someone to come in and stake a claim for a regular place in the side and Quina can offer something different to his more experienced colleagues.
Able to play in a more withdrawn role or in behind the strikers, the teenager possesses a good turn of pace, strong passing range and an eye for a long-distance strike.
It is his unpredictability in possession, though, that marks him out as truly special; Quina is not afraid to throw in a trick or two and gives a totally different threat to the likes of Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang and Edimilson Fernandes, none of whom are particularly comfortable carrying the ball forward.
With regards to United’s interest; whilst they are undoubtedly a huge club his prospects of breaking into a midfield that includes Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are miniscule at best.
At West Ham, there is an appetite for young talent to push through, particularly given the poor start that the team has made to the Premier League season.
Moyes has inherited a squad perhaps a little thin on creativity from the centre of the pitch and Quina could well be the answer.
Being linked with the Old Trafford outfit is flattering but he should use it as no more than a confidence booster to drive him onwards in East London.
The next few years are going to be crucial in his development as a player and the Red Devils will not give him the necessary exposure to senior football.
At 18, Quina should now be thinking about playing games at the highest level and becoming a Hammers hero.