Bristol Rovers fans convinced £2.75m West Ham man is training with club

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Could Bristol Rovers prayers be answered as Gas fans spot an unfamiliar face in pre-season training?

Bristol Rovers fans have done some detective work for the second time this week.

Earlier in the week, they had spotted that Martin Fraisl was following Bristol Rovers, Joey Barton and owner Wael al-Qadi on Instagram. The Rangers linked goalkeeper was an interesting name, and the Gas are in the market for a goalkeeper.

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According to BristolLive however, there is a feeling of bewilderment that Fraisl’s being discussed at such length, and that a move isn’t likely to happen. Gas fans though are relentless and think they’ve worked out the last conundrum from pre-season.

The club posted a squad photo of those who have travelled for the week long camp in Portugal, which will be topped off with a friendly against SC Braga on Saturday. It had a majority of the first-team squad, but eagle eyed supporters spotted an unfamiliar face.

Sandwiched in between James Belshaw and Jerry Lawrence, is a young looking player. Rovers fans are convinced that it’s Goncalo Cardoso, and provided images that looked very similar to him.

@NatSmith313 said: “Looks like Gonçalo Cardoso behind belly,” and then put a photo of him posing in a West Ham kit.

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Charlie Hayne who runs a popular YouTube channel OneRoversVlogs said: “Interesting to see that Gonçalo Cardoso is the player currently training with the Gas in Portugal.

“The 22 year old is a left footed Centre Back formerly of West Ham & currently at Maritimo of the Portuguese 2nd division. Let’s see what happens.”

Dave20171989 then engaged with Joey Barton who shared the photo and said: “We see you slipping Gonçalo Cardoso in there gaffer.”

@brfcjacob meanwhile tweeted: "Might as well announce Kurtaran now," after spotting the Walton & Hersham midfielder. Kurtaran has been listed as a trialist for the last few games.

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In response to Jacob’s tweet, @harr_barter tweeted: “Gonçalo Cardoso in there too,” as fans begin to get confident about the players identity.

Cardoso is a Portuguese 22-year-old centre-back who is currently contracted to second tier club Maritimo. His current deal with the club runs until the summer of 2024, and joined Maritimo after leaving West Ham United.

He was signed by the Hammers in 2019 for a reported £2.75m, but didn’t make a senior appearance for the club. He was signed from Boavista, and had loans with FC Basel, as well as Real Betis. Most of his experience of English football was in the Premier League 2 where he played 21 times, getting two assists and a goal, whilst he also appeared three times in the EFL Trophy. He was an unused substitute in three Premier League matches in the 2019/20 season, and was also involved in their squads for the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Cardoso stands at six-foot four and is a left-sided centre-back, which is what Joey Barton is in the market for after Lewis Gibson signed for Plymouth Argyle and Will Boyle opted to sign for Wrexham.

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