Lille's transfer chief Luis Campos is a wanted man with a growing reputation for launching the careers of some of the best young players and emerging superstars on the planet.
The Portuguese transfer mastermind started out in management in Portugal but became more famous for getting sides relegated than driving them to success, although his Gil Vicente side in 2004 did infamously end Jose Mourinho's 27-match unbeaten start to the season at Porto.
Between 2005 and 2012, Campos would earn the trust of super-agent Jorge Mendes while honing his craft as one of the most knowledgeable scouts in Europe, assisting Porto all the while.
In 2012, upon invitation from Jose Mourinho, Campos joined the backroom staff at Real Madrid. One of Campos' greatest success stories in football, Fabinho, arrived in the Spanish capital shortly after Campos and a strong recommendation from the Portuguese scout. Although things didn't work out for Fabinho at Real Madrid, he would be reunited with Campos at Monaco a year later and that's where the magic really happened.
Campos' gift of spotting a player's talent and immediately assessing their resale value came in very handy at Monaco. Bernardo Silva arrived from Benfica for €15m, Tiemoue Bakayoko from Rennes for €8m, Fabinho from Rio Ave for €6m, Lemar from Caen for €4m and Benjamin Mendy from Marseille for €13m. All of these players would be sold on later for massive transfer fees, but not before they guided Monaco to the Champions League semifinal in 2017. Although Campos had since left for Lille, he had left his mark on that Monaco squad.
Lille, plagued by financial problems, spent only €8.9m on transfers last summer. Experienced Euro 2016 winner Jose Fonte (free), Zeki Celik (€2.5m), new France international Jonathan Ikone (€5m), Jonathan Bamba (free) and Rafael Leao (free) all arrived. Under Christophe Galtier, Lille went from staving off relegation to qualifying for the Champions League, and Campos' help in assembling the squad was vital.
With Nicolas Pepe's €80m move to Arsenal, the wheels keep on turning and the evidence of Campos' brilliance at spotting football talent is there for all to see.
Aitor Karanka, who worked alongside Campos at Real Madrid when the pair became friends, said "It's not a coincidence that his name has been linked with Chelsea or Milan or the other top clubs in the world, when you look at the players who he signed at Monaco and Lille, the difference between the price they had and the price they have now is amazing. He's one of the best."
We wonder what his future holds for him next.
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