Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Benfica has a busy deadline day

Benfica Blog
Benfica had a busy deadline day to follow up a busy second last day yesterday that saw more players heading out the exit door then into the Lisbon club. Benfica moved Chiquinho, Tomas Tavares and Joao Fereira on loan to Braga, Basel and Guimaraes respectively, while the club and midfielder Andreas Samaris came to an agreement on rescinding the 32 year olds contract.

Benfica did see the arrival of midfielder Valentino Lazaro on loan from Inter Milan for the season in what turned into a very busy 48 hour window. Chiquinho's loan move to Braga does not include any purchase option, while Basel can purchase 50% of Tavares rights at the conclusion of the season for €5M. Guimaraes also have a buy option on Joao Ferreira for the same €5M but it is unknown what percentage of the player the Minhoto club would acquire.

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Benfica's loan move for Lazaro from Inter Milan does include an option to make the move permanent at seasons end and it is reported to be for around €8.5M. Benfica did not move on from midfielder Gabriel who was linked with a move to Brazil to join Sao Paulo and the club was also in discussions with Gil Vicente on loaning keeper Mile Svilar but that move failed to materialize before the window closed.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Benfica moving out players before the deadline

Benfica Blog

Benfica continue to work on moving out players that Jorge Jesus has no intention of utilizing this season and with the transfer window set to close tomorrow the club is hard at work. Today saw Benfica send out striker Carlos Vinicius on a two year loan to PSV in which the club will receive €2.5M up front and PSV have an option to make the move permanent for a reported €10M for 50% of Vinicius' rights.

Benfica moved Florentino Luis to Getafe also on loan for the season in which Benfica will receive €500K for the loan and Getafe have the option to buy 50% of Florentino's rights for €10M at seasons end. The moves didn't stop there as forward Jota is reported to have completed his medical and will join Celtic for the season on loan, Celtic will have the option to make the move permanent at seasons end for €7.5M of 75% of Jota's playing rights.

Although Benfica had a busy day they are still looking for homes for Chiquinho, Gabriel, Samaris and Ferro before the deadline window shuts until January but have yet to agree to terms with any clubs to move the players. Chiquinho has been linked in recent days with Italian side Torino, while Gabriel is linked with a move to Brazilian side Sao Paulo.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Taarabt suspended until October by league

Benfica Blog
The Portuguese League has announced the suspension of Benfica midfielder Adel Taarabt for 23 days and 2 games for an incident that took place in the Taca de Portugal final against Braga back in May. The incident involved a red card that Taarabt received at the end of the encounter in which he was unhappy by a tackle received at the hands of Braga's Lucas Piazon and proceeded to initiate a melee that saw several players on both sides push and shove one another.

Taarabt will first serve his 23 day suspension which would end on September 19 and then serve his two game suspension. In total Taarabt will miss five league games and due to International competition in both September and October will not be available again until October 24 when the club travels to take on Vizela. Braga's former keeper and technical team member Eduardo was also suspended for 30 days for his part in the incident.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Benfica Champions League group revealed

Benfica Blog
Benfica have learned their fate when it comes to their UEFA Champions League campaign and will be a part of Group A along with Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Dynamo Kiev in a very competitive group as the club looks to advance to the round of 16 campaign in the new year. Benfica's group schedule looks like this


Game 1- September 14  - at Dynamo Kiev

Game 2- September 29 - vs Barcelona

Game 3- October 20 - vs Bayern Munich

Game 4- November 2 - at Bayern Munich

Game 5- November 23 - at Barcelona

Game 6- December 8 - vs Dynamo Kiev

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Benfica move into Champions League group stage

Benfica Blog

Benfica will join Sporting and FC Porto in the Champions League group stage this season after holding off a persistent PSV to a scoreless draw in their second leg encounter. Benfica went down to ten men at the 32nd minute mark of the game after Lucas Verissimo received his second yellow card in what was a bit of a questionable decision but it turned the game on it's head with Benfica providing little to no attack the rest of the way, but the club put on a superb defensive clinic with a little luck on the side.

Benfica will now receive around €37M from UEFA for qualifying for the group stage and are guaranteed six games in the Champions League to add more to that total. UEFA will pay out €3.28M for every group stage win and €1.09M for each draw in the competition. The qualification will also keep the club away from selling important pieces, unlike last season when their failure to make the group stage saw defender Ruben Dias depart before the summer transfer window closed.

Benfica will be placed in pot 3 for Thursday's group stage draw along with FC Porto, Ajax, RB Leipzig, Atalanta, Zenit and two of Shakhtar Donetsk, RB Salzburg, Besiktas or Dynamo Kiev depending on the results of tomorrow's final playoff games. A group of death featuring previous champions is very likely this season with the potential of a Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and AC Milan joining Benfica when the draw takes hold.


Saturday, August 21, 2021

Benfica making mistake with Waldschmidt potential move

Benfica Blog
Benfica are close to agreeing to a move away from the club of German striker Luca Waldschmidt with the reported destination looking to be Bundesliga club Wolfsburg. The move is said to be for €12M and could be announced next week after Benfica's Champions League playoff game against PSV. Benfica paid just last summer €15M for the 25 year old to join from German club Freiburg and looks to be a bad business deal with the club taking a hit of €3M on the negotiation.

It is said that Waldschmidt is looking for a move back to his homeland in search of regularly playing time and with Benfica stacked at the striker position, a few strikers are expected to move before the transfer window closes. Benfica currently have strikers Haris Seferovic and Rodrigo Pinho on the sidelines with injury but will see the return of Darwin Nunez after a 3 month lay off, throw in recently acquired striker Roman Yaremchuk with Goncalo Ramos and Carlos Vinicius and that is too many strikers for one or two positions in the starting eleven.

The 25 year old German International has appeared in 43 games across all competitions for Benfica, scoring 12 goals while setting up 4. Benfica would be wise to hang onto the left footed striker and look to capitalize on the older Seferovic who caught the eye of many clubs after his performance at this summers Euro tournament. While 2019-20 top scorer Carlos Vinicius also looks ready to depart the club again, as manager Jesus seems to have no interest in giving the Brazilian playing time. Benfica need to move strikers but Waldschmidt is the wrong one to move on from but what can you expect from a club that seems to have lost it's way.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Benfica with toe in Champions League group stage

Benfica Blog
Benfica are a win or a draw away from qualifying for the Champions League group stage after their 2-1 first leg victory at the Estadio da Luz over Dutch side PSV Eindhoven earlier today. Benfica got a pair of first half goals from Rafa Silva and Julian Weigl before Cody Gakpo cut into the lead early into the second half but that would be as close as PSV would get in this game with the second leg set to take place next Tuesday in the Netherlands. Thanks to a rule change by UEFA this season, the away goal is not as important as previous seasons as any one goal loss would see the game go into additional time to decide the winner but a two goal loss would see Benfica miss out on the Champions League group stage for the second season in a row.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Benfica want to move on from striker Vinicius

Benfica Blog
Benfica are looking to find a place to move striker Carlos Vinicius before the transfer window closes and would prefer to cash in on the 26 year old as opposed to another loan move, that saw the striker spend last season in England with Tottenham. Vinicius is not one of manager Jorge Jesus' preferred choices up front and is behind a handful of strikers at the club.

Vinicius has been linked with German side Eintracht Frankfurt over the past couple of weeks and it has been reported that Frankfurt are intensifying their pursuit but are only open to a loan move at this time with a €25M option to buy at seasons end. Benfica are said to be pushing for a compulsory buy option at the same price tag based on the appearances made by Vinicius.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Andre Almeida set to return after long layoff

Benfica Blog
Andre Almeida makes his long awaited return to the Benfica lineup after spending 10 months on the sideline recovering from a rupture to both his cruciate ligament and internal lateral ligament, which he suffered in Week 4 of the 2020/21 season against Rio Ave. Almeida who has appeared in 282 games for Benfica across all competitions has been included in Jorge Jesus' roster list for today's Week 2 game at home against Arouca but will need to compete with current right backs Diogo Goncalves and Gilberto for playing time going forward. It has been a long and difficult road for the 30 year but it is good to see him back healthy.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Benfica landing Barcelona's Umtiti not happening

Benfica Blog
Europe sports dailies have had a field day the last 24 hours reporting on a Benfica move for out of favour Barcelona center back Samuel Umtiti. Benfica are reported to have offered the financially strapped Catalan side €10M to land Umtiti on a permanent move to Lisbon as the club looks to add depth to their center back core. An injury to starting center back Jan Vertonghen suffered during the clubs Champions League qualifier against Spartak Moscow earlier this week got the rumours rolling on the clubs move to land an experienced center back.

Benfica manager Jorge Jesus has used a 3-5-2 formation in all games to date this season and the Vertonghen injury has seen the club turn to an inexperienced fourth option in 20 year old defender Morato. As much as Benfica fans would like to see the Barca defender apply his trade at the Estadio da Luz this season, it is an unrealistic acquisition due to the fact that the 27 year old defender currently earns roughly €12M per season and has a contract with Barcelona until the summer of 2023.

Although the French international has already been informed that he will not see much playing time if he remains with Barcelona, a move away would more then likely not see the defender join Benfica due to the fact that he would need a drastic pay decrease to fit into Benfica's current budget. Benfica's top earner this season Joao Mario, earns slightly under €4M per season so we can all see why this move is not going to work. Benfica does need an experienced fourth option center back but Umtiti will not be it, so the search will continue.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Benfica win to move into Champions League playoff

Benfica Blog
Benfica have moved one step closer to the Champions League group stage after their convincing 2-0 victory of Spartak Moscow in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier and have advanced 4-0 on aggregate. Benfica will now face Dutch side PSV for a spot in the Champions League and a windfall of millions. This game saw the return of fans to the stands as the club hosted 15,000+.

Benfica scored a pair of second half goals from deflections with the first at the 58 minute mark by newcomer Joao Mario and the second which was awarded as an own goal in injury time from another new comer Roman Yaremchuk, who's shot deflected off two Spartak defenders into the net. Benfica and PSV will play their two leg playoff on August 17 and 24, with Benfica hosting the first leg.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Benfica need one more center back to join club

Benfica Blog
The season is ready to get underway and Benfica could use one more center back for the season, especially if they will continue to play in a three center back system each and every game. The starting three of Nicolas Otamendi, Jan Vertonghen and Lucas Verissimo are currently backed up by Morato and Ferro, two players that Jorge Jesus is not super excited to use regularly if one of the starting three is injured.

The likely hood of injury is always present and with Otamendi and Vertonghen pushing close to their mid thirties, Benfica could use a center back with a little experience to shore up the fourth center back position. Benfica should look within the league to keep the cost low and a name that comes to mind is Moreirense's captain Lazar Rosic. 

The Serbian has been in Portugal since the summer of 2016, spending time at Braga and Nacional before joining Moreirense. Rosic has appeared in 117 games since arriving in Portugal across all competitions, scoring 5 goals while setting up a pair. Rosic has the league experience to step in if one of the starting three were to go down with injury and would end up being a good insurance policy for the season.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Benfica win over Spartak in first leg

Benfica Blog
Benfica opened their Champions League group stage quest with a victory in Moscow over Spartak 2-0 earlier today. Benfica opened the scoring in the second half when Rafa Silva scored in the 51st minute on a neat give and go with midfielder Joao Mario. Benfica then doubled their lead when Lucas Verissimo feed a pass through to right back Gilberto in the 74th minute.

Benfica will kick off their league season on the weekend against Moreirense before hosting Spartak in the second leg on Tuesday August 10th. If Benfica hang onto their advantage they will move onto the final playoff were they will take on the winner of PSV and Midtjylland were PSV have the advantage after posting a 3-0 victory on Tuesday.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Benfica find out path to Champions League group stage

Benfica Blog
Benfica have found out their path today to the Champions League group stage and all the riches that it entails, it commences this week with a game in Moscow against Spartak. Benfica will play the two leg series in the Champions League 3rd qualifying round this Wednesday with the return leg back in Lisbon on Tuesday August 10th.

If Benfica advance past Spartak then they will face off against the winners of PSV and Midtjylland in the final playoff to land a spot in the coveted Champions League group stage. The final playoff will have the first leg take place on August 17 or 18 at home with the second leg away on August 24 or 25.