Before the Argentina squad head off for their Copa América opener next Saturday in Brazil, full-back Renzo Saravia has completed a €5 million move to Porto.
It has been a rapid rise for Saravia who was overlooked by Diego Cocca when arriving at Racing Club in 2017 from Belgrano to becoming a key part of Eduardo Coudet’s title winning side and now completing a European transfer as Argentina’s first choice right-back.
Speculation of Porto’s offer had been rife over the past week and following Argentina’s comfortable friendly win over Nicaragua on Friday, the Portuguese club confirmed that Saravia had signed a deal until 2023.
“The truth is that I have over the moon to be part of this incredible club,” Saravia told the club’s official Twitter on Saturday.
“I spoke with Licha [Lisandro López] and he told me wonderful things. I’m really looking forward to succeeding, developing and enjoying the beautiful club and the beautiful city.”
Racing captain Lisandro López will certainly have spoken in glowing terms of Porto having won four league titles at the Estádio do Dragão between 2005 and 2009 and now Saravia will hope to enjoy similar success.
López had left Racing Club without having lifted a title with his boyhood club but Saravia leaves as a league champion and at 25 it is an ideal moment for the Belgrano academy product to make the step up.
Solid defensively and an energetic, buzzing attacking option on the overlap, Saravia emerged as one of the Superliga’s standout full-backs and while the right-back position is not one in which Argentina are blessed with an abundance of options, the Cordobés has taken his chance and established himself as Lionel Scaloni’s first choice.
Porto have perhaps made an astute move in signing Saravia for the relatively small fee of around €5 million before the Copa América given a strong display in Brazil could have seen that figure rise. Some may still question whether Saravia is ready for this next step but similar things were said of Nicolás Tagliafico’s transfer to Ajax last year and the former Independiente captain thrived in Europe.
Racing are said to be interested in a move for Uruguayan youngster Mathías Suárez, who completed a move to Montpellier not too long ago but whoever Eduardo Coudet brings in to La Academia has a big task to replace Saravia.