Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Benfica ready to close Pavlidis move

Benfica Blog
Benfica are hoping that their deal with AZ Alkmaar for striker Vangelis Pavlidis will close this week as the club looks to improve their striking options for next season. Benfica are Alkmaar are said to have agreed on a deal for €18M with €2M in addons for the 25 year old Greek International.

Benfica are hoping that Pavlidis will solve a glaring issue the club battled with last season and that was getting regular goals from their number nine. Look for Benfica to move on from Arthur Cabral during the summer as the club will retain Marcos Leonardo to back up Pavlidis while the status of Casper Tengstedt should be decided shortly.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Benfica linked with Lyon left back Tagliafico

Benfica Blog
Benfica are looking for an additional left back after signing Alvaro Fernandez permanently from Manchester United just a few weeks ago, as the club looks for a player to provide a friendly competition internally for a place in the starting XI. 

Lyon left back Nicolas Tagliafico is the name being mentioned in Portugal as an apparent target for Benfica this summer, as it looks to strengthen one of their weaker positions last season. 

The 31 year old Tagliafico has been with Lyon for two seasons after spending the previous four with Dutch side Ajax. Tagliafico appeared in 31 games across all competitions last season, scoring three goals while providing two helpers.

Tagliafico has one more season left on his contract with Lyon and his price tag should be in the modest €8M to €10M range. The Argentinian international will be participating in this summer's edition of the Copa America and was a member of Argentina's World Cup winning squad.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Benfica will make Pavlidis first summer signing

Benfica Blog

Benfica look to have landed their first signing of the summer transfer window, according to reports out of Portugal, as the club and Dutch side AZ  Alkmaar are said to have come to an agreement to move Greek striker Vangelis Pavlidis to Lisbon.

The terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, but it is unlikely that Benfica paid anything less than €20M for the 25 year old striker's signature. Pavlidis scored 33 goals last season across all competitions, which was more than Benfica's strikers combined during the same span.

Pavlidis will be announced once he returns from a short vacation and should hopefully solve a major issue that the club faced last season, finding goals from their starting #9. Benfica and Pavlidis have already agreed on contract terms.

The arrival of Pavlidis should mean the departure of Arthur Cabral, last season's failed summer signing who was acquired at a cost of €20M to the club. Cabral never really did seem to find his groove with the club and Benfica will be looking at all options to move on from the striker.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Benfica to pocket €10M on Gedson Fernandes deal

Benfica Blog
Former Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes is set to make a move from current club Besiktas to Russian side Zenit for €20M as both clubs are in the final stretch of negotiations. Benfica still hold 50% of Gedson's rights and will pocket half of the sale by the Turkish club once it is finalized.

Gedson departed Benfica in the summer of 2022 for Besiktas for €6M and has appeared in 81 games across all competitions, scoring six goals while providing thirteen helpers. Gedson has also captured a Turkish cup while with the Istanbul side. 

The 25 year old will become the second highest player sale in Beskitas' history and is said to have a €4M a season salary waiting for him with the Russian side.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Benfica - Player Grades - Forwards

Benfica Blog
Grading Benfica player performances during the 2023-24 season, I am only looking at players that played at some point for the club this season and are still members of Benfica's squad at this time. 

The grade scale goes from A to F with A being the best grade and F the worst grade a player can receive.

Lets get to our player reviews for Forwards:

David Neres - Neres was good at times, ok at others and injured, this explains the talented wingers season at Benfica. Neres missed just over two and half months between two different stints on the injured reserve and Benfica missed his heroics when he was out.

Player Grade: C+ 

Angel di Maria - Di Maria did all that was expected of him on his return to Lisbon but the fact the club had to rely on the 36 year old more then expected did not bode well for their season. Di Maria sparkled on many nights but was over used during the season and seemed gassed as the season grinded down. Di Maria is a free agent and it would be best to let him go.

Player Grade: B+

Rafa Silva - Rafa was right up there as the club's best player during the season. Rafa led the team in goals with 22 across all competitions and his speed continued to prove deadly against opponents. Rafa is also a free agent and his time at the Luz looks to be over after eight seasons.

Player Grade: A

Tiago Gouveia - The youngster did not look out of place when inserted into game action and produced as well as you would expect for a 22 year old. He was not awful but was not brilliant either. Gouveia deserves another chance to show what he can do next season but is likely headed out for a loan spell.

Player Grade: C

Casper Tengstedt - The hard working striker with no finish is how we will all remember Tengstedt's season. His regular starts left many scratching their heads due to his lack of finish around the net. His 4 goals in over 1,348 minutes of action is not what you would expect from a #9 and it's hard to see why the club would continue this failed experiment.

Player Grade: D+

Arthur Cabral - Benfica's big money signing from Fiorentina was a major disappointment this season, it took him some time to adjust to the club's style of play but even then could never fully earn the managers trust. His 11 goals across all competitions was pathetic and when your major accomplishment during the season is flipping off some fans, its time to end your stay this summer.

Player Grade: D+

Marcos Leonardo - He joined Benfica during the winter transfer window and seemed to score every time he came off the bench before that cooled off. His 7 goals in only 468 minutes of action was impressive but he still has a ways to go before earning regular playing minutes with the club but at least he provided some scoring from a number nine this season.

Player Grade: C+

Benjamin Rollheiser -It is hard to grade a player that saw just 152 minutes of action since joining during the winter transfer window. Rollheiser will get a full season under his belt this year to show if the class he showed in Argentina can translate to the Portuguese game.

Player Grade: C

Gianluca Prestianni - The 18 year old arrived in January and saw a whopping 3 minutes of action. Benfica dropped a €9M gamble on a player they feel will grow into a talented force with the club in the future. The future will likely not be this season though and a loan would be ideal for the youngster to get regular game action.

Player Grade: N/A

 

Friday, June 7, 2024

Benfica - Player Grades - Midfielders & Coach

Benfica Blog
Grading Benfica player performances during the 2023-24 season, I am only looking at players that played at some point for the club this season and are still members of Benfica's squad at this time. 

The grade scale goes from A to F with A being the best grade and F the worst grade a player can receive.

Lets get to our player reviews for Midfielders:

Florentino Luis The hard nosed defensive midfielder provided exactly what you expected of him in the role he is assigned. Is never going to provide much offensively but the club's best defensive midfielder and it is not even close.

PLAYER GRADE - B-

Joao Neves - The kid was awesome this season, did everything he was asked and then some. His season was so grand that he is likely to finish in the top tier of the golden boy award and could even win it with a terrific Euro 2024. The key is can the club hold onto him for at least one more season. Let's hope so.

PLAYER GRADE - A+

Orkun Kokcu - He started off slowly as it took some time to adjust to a new role thrown his way but in the games that he did shine it was because he was slotted in his preferred central attacking role. More is expected of Kokcu next season and the club will need him to deliver.

PLAYER GRADE - C-

Joao Mario - He took a step back this season on the offensive side of the ball as he scored 33.3% of his goals off a hat trick in Champions League action but he could still be counted on to run and provide tight marking on opponents when required.

PLAYER GRADE - C+

Roger Schmidt - Schmidt became public enemy number one on the fans list this season, after a very disappointing performance from a club that on paper was the best in the league. The club captured just one trophy and that took place in August 2023. His lack of trust in his bench players and stubbornness to make in game adjustments proved costly this season. Look for Schmidt to be on a short leash during the 2024-25 campaign.

COACH GRADE - D+

 


Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Benfica - Player Grades - Keepers and Defenders

Benfica Blog

Grading Benfica player performances during the 2023-24 season, I am only looking at players that played at some point for the club this season and are still members of Benfica's squad at this time. 

The grade scale goes from A to F with A being the best grade and F the worst grade a player can receive.

Lets start our player reviews with Keepers and Defenders: 

Anatoliy Trubin - The clear Benfica number one shot stopper, was brilliant for most of the season but did have that odd brain cramp, which seemed to happen a bit more during the clubs Champions League campaign, he had 17 clean sheets over 48 contests.

PLAYER GRADE: B- 

Samuel Soares - The youngster only appeared in 5 contests but did keep three clean sheets. He did not get enough game action for a proper grade but did what was expected when he did appear. It would be best if he was loaned out this upcoming season.

PLAYER GRADE: C+

Alexander Bah - Benfica's right back missed a lot of game time due to injuries this season but when he is healthy he is a game changer for the club. Here is hoping that he can spend more time on the field next season but a reliable back up would not hurt. 

PLAYER GRADE: C+ 

Fredrik Aursnes - Benfica's swiss army knife, he did all that was asked of him this season, playing wing back on both sides of the field, in the middle and on the wing. He appeared in 55 games this season totally 4,724 minutes, he is a real asset to the club but his play would flourish if he was given a more direct role.

PLAYER GRADE: A 

Antonio Silva - Silva appeared in 50 contests for Benfica and was a rock for the majority of the games, his partnership with Otamendi was solid when it had to be with the odd hiccup. This may be Silva's last season at the club if the price is right as some of Europe's top clubs hover around.

PLAYER GRADE: B+

Nicolas Otamendi - The Benfica captain did not slow down even though age is slowly creeping in, look for the sale of Silva to see him move to his much preferred right center back spot this season. This should help his performance for the upcoming season.

PLAYER GRADE: B-

Morato - He played well when he was in his usual center back position but on many occasions was out of sorts starting games at left back. With the likely departure of Silva, he is ready for regular minutes next to Otamendi but please keep him away from the left back role, he adds nothing to the clubs attack there.

PLAYER GRADE: C 

Tiago Araujo - He appeared in only 20 games and for a mere 737 minutes but the youngster did show some flare when giving the opportunity to show what he could add to the club. He should slot nicely into the number three spot at the club if Silva departs.

PLAYER GRADE: C+ 

Juan Bernat - Add Bernat to the list of PSG loanees that seem to come broken from Paris. Bernat was suppose to help Benfica in the left back role but did not reach 250 minutes of action. Benfica would be best to stay away from PSG players going forward, as little game action seems to be the common theme.

PLAYER GRADE: D+

Alvaro Fernandez - Joined the club during the winter transfer window on loan and appeared in 16 games with the club. Benfica made the loan move permanent and it will be nice to see what the 21 year old can give the squad with a full season under his belt. Had some real good attacking moments but will need to strengthen on the defensive side.

PLAYER GRADE: C

David Jurasek - The summer signing just could not get going at the club and did not seem to fit manager Roger Schmidt's system from the left side. He did not provide much on the attack as he was expected to when he arrived and the club had seen enough of him by January that they sent him out on loan to Hoffenheim after less then 500 minutes of action. Jurasek will likely not wear a Benfica jersey again.

PLAYER GRADE: F

Monday, June 3, 2024

Benfica set price point for Florentino sale

Benfica Blog
Benfica is all ears on incoming offers for defensive midfielder Florentino Luis with the arrival of Leonardo Barreiro, who is suited to play the same role. The Lisbon club is open to moving on from Florentino if the right offer is received from an outside club.

Everton is said to be leading a pack of clubs that are interested in Florentino but have yet to get to Benfica's current asking price of €30M. Now the price would be negotiable under the right circumstances, but Benfica is in no hurry to negotiate a lower price at this time.

Florentino is another member of Benfica's famous Seixal Academy, joining the Eagles when he was a mere 11 years old. He has appeared in 131 games across all competitions with the club, scoring once while providing four helpers.

Florentino has also spent seasons on loan with Monaco and Getafe throughout his Benfica career. Florentino has captured two league championships and two Super Cups in his time at the club while also being a member of Portugal's U17 and U19 European title winners.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Benfica linked once again with AZ Alkmaar striker

Benfica Blog
Benfica will be looking for another striker when the summer transfer window opens, as it looks to find a forward who can not only score but also insert himself into games with authority, something it was clearly lacking last season.

The four strikers that Benfica used this past season, Arthur Cabral, Marcos Leonardo, Casper Tengstedt and Petar Musa, combined for a total of 28 goals across all competitions. Goncalo Ramos scored 27 goals all by himself during the 2022-23 campaign, so you can see why the club is going to the well one more time this summer.

A familiar name has reappeared on the list of potential suitors that the club will be looking at and that is AZ Alkmaar striker Vangelis Pavlidis, who the club was linked to last summer before acquiring Arthur Cabral from Fiorentina.

The 25 year old Greek striker just finished his best season as a member of Alkmaar since joining them in the summer of 2021. A season that saw Pavlidis score 33 goals across all competitions, six more than all of Benfica's options in 2023-24.

Pavlidis will not come cheap if Benfica is to go this route, costing the club at minimum €25M and the club will need to move on first from Cabral and, to a lesser extent Tengstedt if they are to make a move to acquire the lethal striker they so badly need for the upcoming season.

Look for Benfica to sniff around a host of strikers this summer, with Pavlidis' name being just the first of what might turn into a long summer for the Lisbon club if they hope to find the right piece to their attacking puzzle for next season.