Monday, October 14, 2019

Zivkovic needs to play for Benfica or depart

Benfica Blog
As we get to the half way mark of October, in a season that started August 4 when Benfica faced Sporting in the Super Cup, Serbian Andrija Zivkovic patiently awaits his first set of minutes in any competition for the club this season. Zivkovic who continues to train with the first squad, was for many including myself a logical option to step into the place of an injured Gabriel but manager Bruno Lage decided to go a different route, adding Moroccan midfielder Taarabt to the starting eleven. Then Zivkovic's name was bantered around as a choice to step into the secondary striker role with Benfica's current duo of Seferovic and Raul de Tomas struggling to find any sort of form, but once again Bruno Lage felt differently and moved to abandon the two striker set up all together at the moment. Benfica who have played 990 minutes across all competitions this season have not found a spot to use the 23 year old, so his wait for playing time continues.

Zivkovic last appeared for Benfica as a substitute on April 11 in the first leg of Benfica's Europa League encounter against Eintracht Frankfurt and last appeared in league action when he came on again as a substitute March 11 against Belenenses. The Serbian Football Federation has recently spoken up and is concerned with the lack of playing time that the former U20 World Cup champion has received from the club in the last six months. The Serbian Federation wants Zivkovic to continue to train hard and wait for his opportunity even though they seem baffled as to why that has not come this season. Zivkovic joined Benfica in the summer of 2016 and has appeared in 84 games across all competitions for the club scoring on 4 occasions while setting up 11 goals. Benfica knows that if they are to gain a financial reward on the transfer market the player will need to play regular minutes and a January loan move looks to be in the cards for the Serbian forward, both Zivkovic and the Serbian federation patiently await a decision on the direction of the club.

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