Friday, December 29, 2023

Benfica to move defender Joao Victor to Vasco

Benfica Blog
Benfica are set to announce the sale of center back Joao Victor to Brazilian side Vasco da Gama for €6M, with add-ons that could bring the total move to €8M. 

The 25 year old arrived at the Lisbon club in the summer of 2022 from Corinthians for €9.5M, but could never carve out a place within the squad and will depart having appeared in only five games with a grand total of 170 minutes of action.

Victor dropped down the depth chart this season, becoming the fifth option for Roger Schmidt's side. Victor was even given a chance to be the club's backup right back this season, but that move failed miserable, and the club finally decided to move on from the player.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Angel di Maria absence opens door for Goncalo Guedes

Benfica Blog

Goncalo Guedes looks set to get his first league start for Benfica since early November with Angel di Maria set to miss Friday's game against Famalicao due to the fact that he will be attending his sister's wedding in Argentina and has been given permission by the club to extend his holidays and miss the Week 15 encounter.

Guedes has yet to play a full ninety minutes with Benfica this season, thanks in part to injuries, but also because Roger Schmidt prefers to roll out just about the same line up for every encounter. Guedes who is on loan from Wolves until the end of this campaign has appeared in 12 games this season across all competitions, providing two assists in 251 minutes of action. 

Guedes possesses the qualities of a great winger and Benfica are hoping that he will put that on display on Friday as the club looks to take all three points in their league encounter.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Marseille eye Benfica striker for January move

Benfica Blog
A salvation for Benfica could be coming in January, with reports from La Tribune Olympienne that Marseille are interested in making a move for the out of favour striker who has just not been able to fit in with the Lisbon side since arriving from Fiorentina in the summer.

Cabral has scored a meager three goals this season in eighteen appearances across all competitions and has yet to score a goal in league play, all this while seeing 644 minutes of action, as his lack of production has cost the 25 year old playing time with the squad.

Benfica acquired Cabral from Fiorentina for €20M in hopes that the Brazilian would replace the goal production lost by the departure of Goncalo Ramos, who moved to PSG a few weeks prior but Cabral's lack of finish and issues with the club's fans (drive by flipping of the bird) have made the latest rumours of Marseille's interest, welcome news.


Thursday, December 21, 2023

Benfica move into Final Four of Taca da Liga

Benfica Blog
Benfica came into their final group game of the Taca da Liga, coming off a 1-0 nail biting victory over Braga on the weekend. The Lisbon club came ready to host AVS (formerly Aves) with a goal of advancing into the Final Four of the Taca da Liga after missing out last season.

AVS opened the scoring, putting a scare into Benfica and the crowd, but Angel di Maria, Joao Mario, Tiago Gouveia, and an own goal saw the home side capture the victory easily (4-1) when the night was said and done. Benfica will now take on Estoril in one semi-final for a place in the Final, which is set for January 27, 2024, at the Estadio Municipal de Leiria.

On a scary note, a fan was stabbed during the game. Police and firefighters were quick to respond, and the man was taken to the hospital, where it is reported in Portugal that he is currently in stable condition.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Benfica draw Toulouse in Europa League playoff

Benfica Blog
Benfica found out their opponents earlier today when they were drawn against French club Toulouse for their Europa League playoff which will take place in a two leg affair in February on the 15th and 22nd. Benfica will host the first leg at their famous Estadio da Luz before traveling to France for the second leg.

Toulouse finished runner up in their Europa League group, one point behind group winners Liverpool, earning a victory over the English club at home during match day four. Toulouse's Ligue 1 season has been rather disappointing with the club currently sitting 15th in the league standings with just two wins on the season which is one less then they got in the Europa League.

The winner of this clash will move into the Europa League round of 16 were they will face one of the eight group winners that have a bye for this upcoming round.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

San Lorenzo eyed right back signs new contract

Benfica Blog
San Lorenzo's 19 year old right back Agustin Giay has signed a new contract until 2026 with his Argentinian club with the main kicker being an increase to his buy out clause which now stands at around €18M. The move was made to protect San Lorenzo's asset who is wanted by a host of European club's which include Lisbon side Benfica.

Benfica may find the cost to land Giay to be in the higher end range then the club would like to pay and moved towards a more affordable option in Boavista right back Pedro Malheiro. This is not to say that Benfica have given up on Giay but more so that they want to negotiate a lower price tag for the services of the Argentinian U20 captain. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Benfica play complete game to move into Europa League

Benfica Blog
Benfica went into their game against RB Salzburg knowing that they needed a two-goal victory if they were to continue playing in a UEFA competition this season, although it would have to be in the second-tier Europa League with advancement out of the Champions League group not happening this year.

When all was said and done, Benfica did just that, needing an additional time goal from the unluckiest of heroes, in Arthur Cabral, to seal a 3-1 victory in Austria in what may have just been their most complete game of the season. The final score was flattering to Salzburg, who were heavily outplayed in this contest, and if not for some poor finishing, the final score could have been double what it ended up being.

Benfica will now move into the Europa League playoff where they will face a group stage runner-up who is already in the Europa League with a spot in the round of 16 going to the eventual winner of the two-legged affair. Benfica will play the first contest at home, with the second leg against their opponent at their home stadium.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Benfica eye Estoril winger Rafik Guitane

Benfica Blog
Benfica have turned their attention to Estoril winger Rafik Guitane and have opened talks with Estoril about the player according to reports coming from Portugal's Maisfutebol. Benfica are hoping to make a move for Guitane in January when the winter transfer window opens as they look to add depth to their squad.

Estoril value the 24 year old at €4M to €5M and hold 70% of the players rights with French club Stade Reims having the remaining 30%. Guitane spent part of last season on loan at Estoril and the prior two seasons with Maritimo.

Guitane has appeared in 18 games across all competitions this season, scoring four goals while providing two helpers.

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Benfica need to let Di Maria walk in the summer

Benfica Blog

Angel di Maria got a hero's welcome as you would expect for the 35 year old when it was announced that he was returning to Benfica after departing the club thirteen years earlier. 

Di Maria signed a contract for one season with a salary in excess of €9M and it got off how you hoped as Di Maria netted the eventually game winner in Benfica's Super Cup triumph over bitter rivals FC Porto back in August.

Di Maria then started the league season on fire, potting five goals while providing two helpers in the club's first seven games of the season. Then the injury bug hit in early October, and Di Maria has since been a shell of the player who looked poised to carry this club on another spectacular run.

Di Maria has now gone pointless in his past five league games and past two Champions League games with his lone marker being a free kick in a League Cup game. Those are not the totals you want to see from a player over the past two months who makes double what any other player makes in the Portuguese League.

Some may say that Benfica's finishing has been less then clinical; I agree but when a 19 year old tends to be the club's best performer game in and game out over the past few months with the talent that this club should have, it speaks volumes about what Di Maria has failed to bring over that same span.

Argentinian side Rosario Central is hoping to bring Di Maria back home for his final season or two. I say, let him go and book the private jet to Buenos Aires and get this thing moving along; the sooner the better.

It is normal for players to go cold, but when they do, they need to bring other aspects of their games up while they try to get out of the funk. But when a player is cold and becoming a liability defensively for the squad, then it is time to sit his butt on the bench. Are you listening Roger Schmidt or Rui Costa?

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Joao Victor could be on way out of Benfica

Benfica Blog
Joao Victor could be on his way out of Benfica when the winter transfer window opens over the next few weeks, with the potential destination being Turkish club Besiktas, according to reports from Aksam Spor. The 25 year old was suggested to Besiktas, and the Istanbul club is currently studying the possibility of a move to add reinforcements to the back line.

Victor joined Benfica in the summer of 2022 from Corinthians for €9.5M but has not been able to earn regular playing time at Benfica. He has made just two appearances for Benfica this season, appearing in a mere twenty-seven minutes. While last season, after joining the club, he appeared in just three games before joining Nantes on loan for half the season.

Victor has a contract with Benfica until the summer of 2027 with a €100M buyout clause. but look for any move to Besiktas to be a loan move with an option to buy at the conclusion of the season.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Benfica drop points with lacklustre display in Minho

Benfica Blog
In a lackluster display of football, Benfica dropped crucial points against Moreirense with a scoreless draw, putting their top spot in Portugal's league at risk to rivals Sporting. The match was marked by a lack of creativity and intensity from the Benfica players, who seemed unable to break through Moreirense's solid defensive display.

Benfica's attacking line continues to struggle to find the back of the net and is a shadow of the club known for its flair and goal-scoring abilities last season. The team lacks cohesion and is struggling to create clear-cut chances in their encounters. With Sporting set to play today, a victory by their Lisbon rivals will see them move into sole possession of the top spot, dropping Benfica to second.

The draw against Moreirense not only puts Benfica's top spot at risk but also highlights some underlying issues within the team. The club continues to play with no wing backs due to injuries and Schmidt's lack of trust in what he has on hand. This creates breakdowns in the attack as both Aursnes and Morato provide little in offensive flair while their defensive coverage continues to be exploited.

It is essential for Benfica's coaching staff to address these concerns promptly, as the club is getting half a performance from these two players when out of their natural positions, which hampers the overall club performance as Benfica could be considered to be a man down every moment of the match.

The winter transfer window can not come soon enough and is less than a month away. Benfica needs to shore up their wing back positions if they are to contend for the league crown this year. The holes are so glaring at the moment that the club might just disappear into a black hole if they do not.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Benfica closing in on Boavista right back

Benfica Blog
Benfica and Boavista are in advanced talks about right back Pedro Malheiro, as Benfica looks to shore up the position, which has had a hole for most of the season due to injuries to starter Alexander Bah. The 22 year old Malheiro has been on the Lisbon club's radar since last season and looks set to become the Eagles first winter signing.

Malheiro has been out of action with an muscle injury since Week 5 of the season but is set to return shortly. He is currently represented by Jorge Mendes' Gestifute agency. Benfica are hoping to land the right back for €4M and see him as a better alternative to the current merry go round of players that have been exposed due to playing out of position in the role.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Benfica ready to sneak in for Estudiantes winger

Benfica Blog
Benfica's name has been linked to another Argentinian winger as the club looks to beat out a host of teams from across Europe, for Estudiantes' 23 year old Benjamin Rollheiser. Benfica is set to announce the acquisition of Velez Sarsfield's 18 year old winger Gianluca Prestianni in the coming weeks and hopes to beat out Newcastle, Zenit St. Petersburg, and CSKA Moscow for another Argentinian winger's signature.

Rollheiser has appeared in 56 games for Estudiantes this season across all competitions, scoring twelve goals and providing eight helpers in 4,273 minutes of action. Rollheiser joined Estudiantes in the summer of 2022 on a free transfer after spending a good amount of time in the River Plate system.

Benfica seem to be looking ahead to potential replacement's for Angel di Maria, whose contract is up at the end of this season, as both Prestianni and Rollheiser predominately play on the right side of the attacking forward wing.