Newcastle United linked with marauding Portuguese full-back: A masterstroke by Benitez?

Transfer Story

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez is apparently aiming for something more than just Premier League survival next season as their transfer reports and links seem to be no less than that of any top club in the league. Latest transfer rumours have linked Benfica right-back Nelson Semedo with a move to the Magpies this summer.

The Portuguese international has been more than impressive this season as his scintillating form on the right flank have drawn accolades from fans and pundits alike, making him a fan-favourite in Estadio da Luz.

Although Rui Vitoria is more than willing to retain his star talisman, a bid of around £18m is expected to be enough for the club officials to release the player.

The player is apparently tied to his present club till 2021 and with 4 years left on his contract, it should come as no surprise if Benfica play hardball in trying to sell their player.

Let’s take a look at the player’s contribution and stats with the Liga NOS champions in the season gone by.

Player stats

  • The 23-year old has made 31 appearances for his club in the league, amassing 2781 minutes on the pitch. No short of consistency and fitness it seems for the player who has been a more or less regular choice right-back throughout the season.
  • The young full-back is also no short of creativity and vision when it comes to getting forward, as is evident from his 1 goal and 6 assists for the club in the league.
  • With an overall pass success rate of 80% and a total of 37 key passes in all competitions, the full-back has been more than effective down the wing in supporting attacks and providing space and width to the team.
  • The Portuguese international also has an astounding tackle success rate of 88%, a stat which is comparable to any of the world’s best full-backs at the moment.
  • The youngster has also made a total of 58 interceptions for the club in all competitions, showcasing meticulous tactical awareness and reading of the game to detect and thwart early threats into the box. (Stats via WhoScored)

What’ll he offer the club?

The true quality of any full-back is determined by his ability to contribute in the team’s offence as well fortify team’s back line with utmost consistency. Steaming up and down the pitch tirelessly, Semedo has proven he is no doubt a quality full-back and would be a smashing addition to any team.

The flamboyant right-back would be a true addition to the club considering the quality and skill he would put in on the right flank. Also having a knack of playing with flying full backs, it should come as no surprise if Rafa goes all out for the Benfica man.

Having the player would increase the strength as well as creativity on the right flank for the Magpies which was an area of concern for them in the Championship this past season.

Worth the money?

Considering the prospect he is and what he’ll bring, the price tag is more than justified and with the pursuit of some bigwigs from top tier clubs, it would not be surprising to see his asking price take a huge hike.

Surely, a gem of a prospect for any club, one could imagine the quality he would exude when he reaches his prime as at 23 he is yet to develop to his full potential.

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