Monday, January 10, 2022

Verissimo looking at Ramos to be Felix?

Benfica Blog

New intern manager Nelson Verissimo looks to have taken a page out of former Benfica skipper Bruno Lage's playbook when he inserted 20 year old Goncalo Ramos into the starting eleven this weekend in a formation that resembles Benfica's last winning championship under Lage going back to the 2018-19 season.

Lage made his debut with Benfica in January 6, 2019 replacing Rui Vitoria and on his drive home while preparing for his first game, the former manager decided to bet on a 19 year old kid named Joao Felix to shake things up at the club. We all know how that turned out as Felix exploded onto the scene, finishing the season with twenty goals across all competitions while setting up an additional fourteen as Benfica regained their league crown.

Felix would then depart during the summer months joining Spanish club Atletico Madrid in a record setting sale that would see Benfica add €127M to its coffer. Verissimo sees the highly regarded Ramos as playing the same type of role in the secondary striker position as Felix did during that magical season returning the club to the 4-4-2 formation over Jesus' preferred 3-5-2 system.

Ramos has already seen an uptick in playing time over Verissimo's first two games appearing in 125 minutes compared to 881 under Jesus's tenure this season which covered 30 games across all competitions. Ramos has chipped in a modest goal and assist to date but with regular playing minutes and a gain of confidence could Ramos bring to Benfica what Felix did, only time will tell and we have half a season to find out.

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