Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Enzo's stay at Benfica is short as he joins Chelsea

Benfica Blog
Enzo Fernandez's stay at Benfica could not have been shorter as the Argentinian midfielder departs Lisbon for London to join Chelsea after just arriving in the summer from River Plate in what amounts to a record breaking Premier League fee paid by the English side for the 22 year old. Benfica will receive €121M plus interest on Chelsea's five installments to come, while receiving €45M up front to close the deal now.

Enzo Fernandez was far from a house hold name in most parts of the world until appearing at Benfica where he caught the eye of some of Europe's giants with his play. Enzo almost did not arrive at the club until this transfer window after Benfica and River Plate came to an agreement that he would remain in Argentina until River were eliminated from the Copa Libertadores, this luckily happened in early July in the round of 16.

Fernandez leaves Benfica after appearing in 29 games across all competitions, scoring four goals while setting up an additional seven, Benfica acquired Enzo in the summer for €10M with €8M in incentives in which €4M has already been paid to River Plate. Enzo was a key piece of Argentina's World Cup 2022 winning squad and was named the Young Player of the tournament increasing his value around the globe.

Fernandez's former club River Plate are entitled to 25% of the sale price and while Benfica have not replaced the out going midfielder they will be allowed to place bags of cash all around the field for the remainder of the season.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Nelson Semedo the next to return back home

Former Benfica right back Nelson Semedo is linked with a return back to Benfica following in the footsteps of the clubs recent loan acquisition Goncalo Guedes who joined the club for the remainder of the season. Semedo's contract with Wolverhampton is set to expire at seasons end and the 29 year old is rumoured to be ready to make his return to the Estadio da Luz after departing six seasons ago.

Benfica sold Semedo to Barcelona in the summer of 2017 for a cool €35.7M, Semedo has since then joined Wolverhampton in the summer of 2020 but all reports indicate that Semedo is set to come back to Portugal and Benfica is his preferred destination. Semedo appeared in 65 games for the club across all competitions before his departure, scoring three goals while setting up an additional twelve.


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Benfica continue flurry of winter window moves

Benfica Blog
Benfica are cleaning house during the winter transfer window and have made a flurry of moves that have seen player departures pick up the pace over the last few days with the window deadline set to close in a weeks time in most of the major European leagues. Benfica are looking at making the club leaner and will count on younger players in the organization to fill in when required.

Benfica's recent departures in the last week: Updated 01/30/23

Helton Leite (Keeper) to Antalyaspor - Free Transfer

Tomas Tavares (Right Back) to Spartak Moscow - €3M

Gil Dias (Winger) to Stuttgart - €2M

German Conti (Center Back) to Lokomotiv Moscow - €1M in objectives

John Brooks (Center Back) to Hoffenheim - €500K

Joao Victor (Center Back) to Nantes - Loan (no buy option)

Henriques Araujo (Striker) to Watford - Loan (no buy option)

Benfica are said to have been negotiating a buy back clause on Tavares' deal to Spartak but it has not been disclosed if this was added to deal.

Benfica are also still working on deals that could see  Andre Almeida and Ferro all with new clubs in the next week, so stay tuned as the moves are coming fast and furious.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Julian Weigl wants to stay in Germany

Benfica Blog
Benfica midfielder Julian Weigl who is currently on loan in Germany with Borussia Mochengladbach did a recent interview this weekend with Redaktion Netzwerk and admitted his desire to remain in Germany and not return to Benfica when his loan deal is up at the end of the season. Weigl stated that he feels good at Mochengladbach and has his eyes set on a return to the German national side.

The 27 year old Weigl joined Benfica from Dortmund in the winter of 2020 for €20M and appeared in 115 games across all competitions, scoring five goals while setting up an additional five before moving back to Germany in the summer. Benfica are said to be looking for €10M to €15M to allow the move to become permanent.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Benfica bring Goncalo Guedes home

Benfica Blog
In an unprecedented move, Benfica have agreed to a loan with Wolverhampton and are bringing home Goncalo Guedes, six years after his departure to PSG for €30M. The Seixal academy product arrived in Lisbon earlier today on a private jet from Birmingham after just five months at Wolves and will be presented as a reinforcement for Roger Schmidt's squad for the remainder of the season tomorrow.

The 26 year old is hoping a move to familiar grounds will help relaunch his career, that has currently stalled while at Wolverhampton this season. The loan deal is said to not include an option to make the move permanent at the conclusion of the season but is a huge win for the club never the less. Guedes has spent time at PSG, Valencia and Wolverhampton since moving away from the club.

Guedes last appeared in a game for Benfica on January 14, 2017 when the club hosted Boavista in a 3-3 draw and had appeared in 68 games for Benfica across all competitions, scoring eleven goals while setting up sixteen. Guedes is comfortable playing a variety of forward positions and should fit into Schmidt's club system quite well.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Benfica have many moves to make before window closes

Benfica Blog
The winter transfer window has two weeks left to go and Benfica have a lot of work to do before that deadline arrives, the club has already acquired a pair of northern European youngsters in Casper Tengstedt and Andreas Schjelderup but are hoping to land a midfielder and a keeper before the window closes with Flamengo keeper Hugo Souza's name being bounced around as an option.

Benfica will also look at moving out some players in areas where the club has an abundance to chose from. One of those positions is the center back spot which currently has six players available after the return from injury of three of those defenders. Benfica is looking at moving on from John Brooks and are set to loan one of Lucas Verissimo or Joao Victor to help clear the clutter. Helton Leite is also linked with a departure to Turkisk club Alanyaspor.

The most interesting rumour of all may just be what is coming out of Portugal today, Benfica is said to be in talks with English side Watford in what could turn into a loan move that would see 20 year old striker Henrique Araujo depart the club for the third division side, not much has been said if the loan deal would include an option to make the move permanent but I for one hope that is not the case.     

Monday, January 16, 2023

Benfica and Sporting draw in Lisbon encounter

Benfica Blog
It was a fierce encounter in Lisbon by two clubs who's stadiums sit just under three kilometers apart as Benfica hosted their arch rivals Sporting at a packed Estadio da Luz last night. Benfica came from behind on two separate occasions with a pair of goals from Goncalo Ramos to earn a 2-2 draw against Sporting.

The visitors opened the scoring in the first half when a Marcus Edwards cross went in for an own goal off of Benfica defender Alexander Bah but Benfica did not take long to equalize the game before halftime as Goncalo Ramos chipped in a Rafa Silva pass for his league leading 10th goal of the season just eight minutes before the half.

Sporting would then be awarded a controversial penalty kick just seven minutes into the second half when Antonio Silva took down Paulinho in the box, Pedro Goncalves would convert the penalty to restore the visiting Lions lead once again. Benfica intensified their play looking for the equalizer and it would come once again from the feet of Ramos who would this time convert a Grimaldo pass into the box to bring the game level once more.

Benfica pushed on for the victory but it was not in the cards this game as the final whistle sounded, the club saw their lead atop Portugal cut to four points with plenty of football still to go this season. The emotions of the game carried into the tunnel between the two clubs, so much so that Benfica security needed to get involved. Benfica will continue their quest for the title next week as they travel to the Azores to take on Santa Clara next Saturday.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Benfica make a pair of moves during transfer window

Benfica Blog
Benfica hit the winter transfer window running, locking up a pair of northern European youngsters in Casper Tengstedt and Andreas Schjelderup in the past 36 hours. Benfica first acquired 22 year old striker Tengstedt from Rosenborg for €7M, signing the Dane to a contract until the summer of 2028 with a €100M buy out clause.

Then Benfica made their move for the Danish's leagues leading scorer and 18 year old Norwegian winger Andreas Schjelderup from Nordsjaelland in which they paid €9M with a potential additional €5M in add ons. Schjelderup also signed a contract with the club until the summer of 2028, with a €100M buy out clause.

Benfica's moves are to add depth to a squad still competing for three trophies this year, the club will turn their attention to their midfield now before the window closes at the end of month across the majority of Europe.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Benfica ready for Taca game against Varzim

Benfica Blog
Benfica will face third division side Varzim in the Taca de Portugal's round of 16 tomorrow at Povoa de Varzim as they look to advance to the tournaments quarter-final stage. Benfica last won the Taca de Portugal during the 2016/17 campaign and last reached the competitions final in 2020/21. Benfica manager Roger Schmidt has said he plans to go in with the majority of his first team squad not taking Varzim lightly after they knocked out Sporting in the third round of the competition.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Diogo Goncalves departs Benfica for Copenhagen

Benfica Blog
Benfica said good-bye to long time winger Diogo Goncalves yesterday after the club sold the 25 year old to Danish side Copenhagen for a reported €2M with an additional €2M in performance add ons. Benfica will also receive 20% on any future sale of Goncalves who spent the majority of his career coming up through the clubs Seixal academy.

Goncalves appeared in 98 games across all competitions for the main squad, scoring three goals while setting up ten after becoming a regular member of the squad in the summer of 2020. Goncalves struggled for regular playing time this season under Roger Schmidt and should get the minutes he is looking at Copenhagen.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Benfica turn attention to Italian keeper

Benfica Blog
Benfica are already looking to add some depth to their keeper department and have turned their sights on 21 year old Bari keeper Elia Caprile who has caught the attention of many of Europe's clubs with his performances this season for the Serie B club. Caprile came through the Chievo youth system before moving to Leeds United during the winter transfer market of 2020.

Caprile joined Bari this past summer and has appeared in 21 games across all competitions, maintaining seven clean sheets this season. With Benfica back up Helton Leite set to depart this transfer window looking for more playing time, Benfica could be looking to groom the 21 year old for the future starting role at the club as current number one keeper Vlachodimos continues to garner interest from European clubs.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Benfica being linked with midfielder Kokcu

Benfica Blog
Benfica are being linked with Feyenoord midfielder Orkun Kokcu according to reports out of the Netherlands as the club looks to replace Enzo Fernandez that with each passing day is looking more likely to depart the club during the current winter transfer window. Benfica want Enzo's release clause met which is set at €120M and Premiership clubs are circling the recent World Cup 2022 winner with Chelsea said to be leading the pack.

The 22 year old Dutch born, Turkish International Kokcu has been with Feyenoord since joining their youth ranks in the summer of 2014 and has appeared in 148 games across all competitions for them, scoring 27 goals while setting up 14. Benfica manager Roger Schmidt is familiar with Kokcu from his time with PSV, as is midfielder Fredrik Aursnes who played a season with Feyenoord before joining Benfica this past summer.

What Benfica would like in 2023

Benfica Blog
2022 is behind us and 2023 is ahead and for Benfica fans and the club the hope is that 2023 will be a memorable year. Benfica suffered their first loss of the season on Friday under the guidance of Roger Schmidt in Week 14 of league play. The suffered a humiliating defeat to Braga 3-0, a game that the club looked out of rhyme after a long pause thanks to World Cup 2022.

Benfica currently have a five point lead with 20 league games to play and the club are hoping that 2023 sees the club win their 38th championship and first since the 2018/19 season. Benfica are also still in the Taca de Portugal and are set to face Varzim in the round of 16 this month. Benfica last won the Taca de Portugal in 2017. 

Finally the club are still in UEFA's biggest club tournament also known as the Champions League where they will face off against Club Brugge in the round of 16 in February. The club should also continue to see a windfall in player sales in 2023 with Enzo Fernandez and Goncalo Ramos at this time as the two players that could add more to the clubs coffers.