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Scotland’s ‘Mini-Messi’ Wonderkid Ryan Gauld Joins Sporting Lisbon

Ryan Gauld has completed a surprise move from Dundee United to Sporting Lisbon…

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Dundee United teenager Ryan Gauld has surprised a host of top European clubs by electing to join Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon.

The 18-year-old attacking midfielder, dubbed the ‘Mini-Messi’ by his teammates, has signed a six-year deal which also includes a £48m buy-out clause. The transfer fee is believed to be around £3m.

Gauld, a Scotland Under-21 International who stands at just 5ft 6in tall, scored eight goals in 38 appearances for United last season, and will now join the club responsible for producing stars such as Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The move ensures Gauld his first chance to play Champions League football, and could see him burst onto the European scene in the near future. Real Madrid, Roma, Manchester United and Arsenal were all believed to have shown an interest in the young starlet, but Gauld has instead elected to join the Portuguese giants.

Speaking in December, United boss Jackie McNamara, who won 33 caps for Scotland, said: “He’s going to be a massive star in our national team, there’s no doubt about that. He will be one of the greats of our game.”

Gauld was a candidate for the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year last season, after helping his team finish fourth in the Scottish Premier League. However, the award went to his teammate Andy Robertson.

See the best of Gauld in action here:

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