Sunday, October 4, 2020

Benfica center backs look old and broken

Benfica Blog

Benfica have moved on from their young starting center back and Portugal international this week when Ruben Dias was sold to Man City for €68M. Benfica replaced Dias with a slow aging veteran in Nicolas Otamendi, who got his first start for Benfica alongside another aging veteran in Jardel who was in replacing another aging veteran in Jan Vertonghen who is already out with an injury, suffered in Week 2 of action. Get the idea? The three center backs aged 34 (Jardel), 33 (Vertonghen) and 32 (Otamendi), could make this a very long season for the Lisbon side all on the account of Jesus and his insistence on veteran center backs. 

The issue has now gotten more complicated when Jardel was replaced in the second half of today's game by Ferro after suffering another injury to the long list of injuries that have kept the Benfica captain out of the lineup on a regular basis the past few seasons. Ferro who is the only young body at age 23 on this current Benfica squad that plays center back, just only a few weeks ago was being mentioned as a player not needed by Jesus and set to leave the club on loan. Benfica currently have only two center backs healthy in Otamendi and Ferro and will need to look at making a move in the transfer market to shore up the back line with none of its current B squad players ready to play a pivotal role with the club this season.

The one name that continues to be linked to Benfica is former Jesus player Ruben Semedo. The 26 year old Olympiacos defender is said to want to make the move to Benfica but both clubs continue to dance around when it comes to the sale price with Benfica not wanting to get close to the €15M asking price. The club may not have a choice but to bite the bullet as it sits one injury away from having to move Samaris or Weigl to the center back position on a full time basis. Benfica could also look within the Portuguese League with the transfer window remaining open until October 25 in Portugal and turn to Rio Ave's Toni Borevkovic or Famalicao's Riccieli if they are looking to spend under €5M to shore up the spot with a young talented player as the current old and broken center backs seems to be a flawed approach.

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