Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Diogo Goncalves has earned the right to be starter

Benfica Blog
Diogo Goncalves has taken a long path to get to were he is today, after spending the majority of his youth at Benfica's Seixal academy. Goncalves went through an unsuccessful loan spell with English side Nottingham Forest and then a terrific season last year on loan at Famalicao before remaining with the club this season. If Jorge Jesus got one thing right since his return back to the club, it was giving Goncalves time to learn to play right back a new position for Goncalves who was accustomed to playing on the right wing.

After the season ending injury to starting right back Andre Almeida in just the fourth game of the season, the right back position fell to summer arrival Gilberto. The 28 year old Brazilian kept the spot warm until Goncalves was unleashed in February and his fine form has earned him a regular place among the starting XI. Goncalves should remain in that position after the return of regular starter Andre Almeida as he has looked good in Jesus' 4-4-2 formation along with his 3-5-2 formation which sees Goncalves play higher up the field.

Since becoming the clubs regular starting right back, Goncalves has appeared in 15 games and scored twice while setting up another five goals across all competitions. His set piece goal against Arsenal in the Europa League round of 32 was magnificent and a statement that he had finally arrived and the clubs search for an every day right back was over. Goncalves was recently awarded as Benfica's break through player of the year which should only cement his place with the squad next season.

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