Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Benfica bringing Angel di Maria back for another season

Benfica Blog
Benfica look to have agreed to a new deal with winger Angel di Maria to return to the Lisbon club for one more season after seeing his contract end on June 30th, according to a tweet by famed football journalist Fabrizio Romano.

The 36 year old seems to have looked at his available options and felt that Benfica is the best choice for himself and his family for at least one more season. Di Maria appeared in 48 games across all competitions, scoring 17 goals and setting up 15 assists in his return to Benfica.

Here is hoping that Roger Schmidt uses Di Maria a bit more efficiently than he did during the 2023-24 season, as the overuse of Di Maria did see the Argentinian look gassed at certain points towards the second half of the season. 

No information about the contract has yet to be released, but you would have to expect that Di Maria will sign a contract with a lower annual salary than the €9M+ that he was paid by the club in 2023-24. I can not say that I like the move but I can live with it if he is used better then he was last season by the manager.

Monday, July 15, 2024

New signing Pavlidis already heading for surgery

Benfica Blog
Benfica's newly signed striker, Vangelis Pavlidis will be out of action for a minimum of two weeks following his surgery to repair a broken right thumb, an injury suffered early into the club's second friendly against Spanish side Celta Vigo after landing on his thumb from an awkward fall.

The 25 year old Greek international got off to an exciting start with the club, scoring three goals in the club's first two friendlies after Benfica paid AZ Alkmaar €18M for the striker's services just a few weeks ago and hope that this minor setback, is just that, a minor setback as the club counts on Pavlidis to be a big piece of a club looking to recapture the league title this season.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Benfica land left back Beste from Heidenheim

Benfica Blog
Benfica look to have found their solution at left back with today's signing of Jan-Niklas Beste from German club FC Heidenheim. Benfica will pay €8M to acquire Beste, with a potential €2M in add ons if certain incentives are met and sign Beste to a five year contract.

Beste is the second left back acquired by Benfica this summer after they activated the buy clause on Alvaro Fernandez at the conclusion of the season and the club is hoping that both players will bring out the best in one another as they battle for playing minutes with the Lisbon club.

The 25 year old has been used in more of wing back role over the previous few seasons with Heidenheim and has not played regularly at left back since the 2020-21 season. This is the type of player that manager Roger Schmidt loves, as he can move anywhere along the left side of the field if needed.

Beste appeared in thirty-two games, scoring eight goals while providing fourteen helpers across all competitions for Heidenheim last season, his first full season in Bundesliga action. The left footer was also one of the last cuts to make the German squad for this summer's Euro 2024.

Monday, July 8, 2024

Benfica league schedule for 2024-25 season released

Benfica Blog
The Portuguese League has released the full schedule for the 2024-25 season and we now all know who Benfica will face week in and week out. 

Benfica will kick off their campaign on the road against Famalicao on the weekend of August 11th and open the season at the Luz the following weekend against Casa Pia.

Benfica will take on rivals FC Porto in Week 11 at home and Week 28, they will face city rivals Sporting in Week 16 on the road and Week 33 and end the season on the weekend of May 17 on the road at Braga.

Benfica will also travel back to the islands to face both Santa Clara and Nacional who make their returns to top flight. Benfica are in Sao Miguel, Azores for Week 22 of the season and in the Madeira on Week 8.

Full Benfica Schedule; Click to Enlarge:

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Benfica will loan Prestianni out this season

Benfica Blog

Benfica will be looking to get winter transfer signing Gianluca Prestianni some regular playing time this season, but it will not be with the club as they look to loan the 18 year old. The club is currently assessing their options on where it would be best to place the winger, as they want to make sure Prestianni is put in the best possible position to grow.

Ajax are said to be the front runners to land Prestianni's services, but there are also a few Argentinian clubs with interest in bringing home the U17 international. Benfica acquired Prestianni from Velez Sarsfield for €9M and any loan of the player will not include a buy option. 

Benfica are hoping that a Prestianni loan will have the same results as Andreas Schjeldrup, who returned to Norwegian club Nordsjaelland last season on loan. The 20 year old scored ten goals and provided eleven assists across 38 games, his performance not only had him named the spring season player of the year but also earned him his first call up to the national side.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Benfica looking to bring Joao Felix home for cut rate price

Benfica Blog

In a shocking turn of events, Benfica is said to be in talks with Barcelona about bringing home Seixal Academy product Joao Felix. Benfica have offered Atletico Madrid €20M to obtain 50% of Felix's pass, while Atletico are open to the move if they are to receive €25M for the same ownership.

This is just five years after Benfica sold Felix to Atletico for a whopping record fee of €127.2M after his breakout performance during the 2018-19 season. Felix, who is still only 24 years old, has had moments of brilliance in his time at Atletico but has fallen out of favour at the club and spent the past season and a half on loan at Chelsea and Barcelona.

The biggest obstacle to Felix returning to his boyhood club could be the salary he currently commands, which is in excess of €4M per season after a contract restructure with Atletico last summer, but after paying Angel di Maria over €9M last season, it may not be as big of an obstacle as some will make you believe.

With Di Maria off the books this year, a return for Felix could make a lot of sense for both parties, as Benfica looks to add to their attack while Felix looks to get what was once a promising career back on track. Felix appeared in 44 games across all competitions for Barcelona last season, scoring ten goals while providing six helpers.

Felix would likely slot into the role that recently departed Rafa Silva held at the club and is also able to play either wing if required by the club. Benfica hopes to rejuvenate Felix's career and may once again get top dollar for a player who just in 2021-22, was named Atletico's player of the year by the club's supporters.

Monday, July 1, 2024

Benfica make long awaited signing official for Pavlidis

Benfica Blog

Benfica have finally announced the acquisition of AZ Alkmaar striker Vangelis Pavlidis today, acquiring the Greek international for €18M with an additional €2M in add-ons for incentives met. Benfica respected the wishes of AZ Alkmaar to not make the signing official until today, as the Dutch club wanted to move the signing to their new fiscal year budget.

Pavlidis will follow in the footsteps of other Greeks who at one time donned the famous Benfica jersey from: Giorgos Karagounis (2005-2007), Kostas Mitroglou (2015-2017), Andreas Samaris (2014-2021), Konstantinos Katsouranis (2006-2009)  and most recently, keeper Odysseas Vlachodimos (2018-2023).

Pavlidis has been with AZ Alkmaar since the summer of 2021, when he arrived from Dutch club William II. He has also spent time in Germany in his teen years with Borussia Dortmund and VFL Bochum, but never really got a chance with the main squads. The 25 year old scored 34 goals last season across all competitions for Alkmaar, while providing five helpers. and capturing the golden boot in the Eredivisie with 29 goals.

Benfica have signed Pavlidis to a five year contract with a €100M buyout clause and Alkmaar will retain 10% of the players pass on a future sale of the striker. Benfica are hoping that Pavlidis will come in and provide the club with some scoring from the striker position, something they were sorely lacking during last season's disappointing campaign.