Despite having played the entirety of Lille’s three Ligue 1 games this season, Portugal’s Euro 2016 final match winner Eder has not yet scored, as the 28-year-old striker intensely searches to rediscover his goal scoring touch.
Eder retains place in Portugal squad
The former Swansea City player is set to continue his efforts to do that whilst on international duty, as he has been named in Fernando Santos’ 24-man squad for Portugal’s upcoming friendly with Gibraltar and 2018 World Cup qualifier against Switzerland.
As well as Eder, 19 other members of Portugal’s Euro 2016 players are included in Santos’ current squad, the average of which is 26-and-a-half years old. Whilst the youngest member of Santos’ party is Renato Sanches at 19-year-old, the eldest is the 34-year-old Bruno Alves.
Furthermore the Cagliari centre back is also the third most capped player in Portugal’s current squad as he has played 86 times for his country, with Joao Moutinho and Nani having made four and seventeen more appearances than Alves respectively.
The Selecao’s record appearance holder and top goal scorer Cristiano Ronaldo is one of three players from Portugal’s triumphant Euro 2016 squad set to miss the country’s upcoming games, with the other two being the unattached Ricardo Carvalho and Vieirinha.
Relative to Ronaldo’s omission the Real Madrid forward is still trying to recover from the knee injury which he sustained during the first half of Portugal’s 1-0 Euro 2016 final victory over France, with Eder scoring a superb winning goal, whereby he struck a powerful low 25-yard shot beyond the despairing dive of Hugo Lloris.
Eder’s unsensational goal – scoring record
Although Eder’s fourth goal for Portugal, it was his first in a competitive game, since his other three arrived in friendlies against Italy, Norway and Estonia. Given that he has made 29 appearances for Portugal, Eder’s international goal – scoring record is extremely modest.
As such Eder’s aim is to improve upon that against both Gibraltar and Switzerland, whilst in order to do so it will be necessary for him to rediscover his goal-scoring touch since that has deserted the Guinea Bassau born player during his club Lille’s first three games of the 2016-2017 season.
After joining the French side on loan from Swansea in January, Eder scored six goals in 14 appearances to help Lille finish fifth in Ligue 1 and qualify for this season’s Europa League, in the group stages of which they will play Wolfsburg, Everton and Krasnodar.
Subsequently following his fine form for Lille, Eder signed a permanent four-year contract with Les Dogues, for whom he has performed well so far this season without as yet scoring a goal.
Many attributes to Eder’s game
As a powerful and tenacious centre forward, who is blessed with great aerial strength and touch, Eder possesses an excellent all round game, despite not being a prolific goal scorer at either club or international level.
Nevertheless the quality of his goal against France, along with the manner in which commanded the attention of Les Bleus centre back pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Samuel Umtiti after appearing as a second-half substitute, provided a clear indication that Eder has the potential to lead Portugal’s frontline, which he may be tasked with doing in the games with Gibraltar and Switzerland, given Ronaldo’s absence from those.
Ultimately although Eder does not score regularly, he valuably contributes to both Lille and Portugal’s performances, as the 6ft 3in striker is adept at holding the ball up and bringing team mates into play.
Therefore in addition to aspiring to continue that in Portugal’s next two matches, Eder will also strive to score a first competitive goal, since his Euro 2016 final match – winning goal against France.