Jose Mourinho looks keen to bolster his defensive options at the back and is apparently at loggerheads with rivals Manchester City to sign the Benfica full-back Nelson Semedo. The Special One seems to have unfinished business with last season’s Liga NOS champions even after acquiring their star centre-half Victor Lindelof and is now apparently on the hunt for their right back.
Semedo played an important role in the backline and was intrinsic in the team’s run to lift the Primeira Liga title. It does seem quite unbelievable that the Portuguese champions would sell their fundamental figures at the backline all at once this summer but a lucrative deal might just persuade the Benfica officials to let go of their star fullback.
The 23-year-old still has 4 years to run down on his contract and Benfica is said to ask £43,75m for the player against Man City’s initial bid of around £26m and now the Red Devils apparently have the upper hand to seal the deal especially after they were handed a boost with the club lining up his replacement.
The 23-year-old made 43 appearances for his club, all of them being starts with the team. Unbelievable fitness, form and consistency have made him a key figure for the Benfica backline under manager Rui Vitoria.
The full-back has managed to score 2 goals and an amazing 6 assists in all competitions for his club last season, certainly not bad stats for a full back.
The player has a healthy pass success rate of 80.1% and has made a total of 37 key passes for his team which goes to show the player’s creativity and ability to assist and create chances in the final third showcasing his skill and talent as an attacker.
The SL Benfica man also is strong defensively with a tackle success percentage of 87.59% and has made a total of 58 interceptions for his team. The 23-year-old youngster certainly leaves no question on his extraordinaire defensive skills which could rival any top defender’s stats at the moment.
Certainly a talent in the making, the player would be a good inclusion for any squad. (Stats via WhoScored)
What’ll he offer the Club?
Modern fullbacks are like additional wingers to the team, capable of increasing the width of the game as well as providing cover at the back in times of defence.
Certainly arduous, it requires enduring stamina and consistency to perform as a full back and more so in the Premier League which is known for its physicality and toughness.
The 23-year-old has shown with his time at Benfica that he has the ability to run up and down the pitch like a steaming juggernaut, providing width and defensive cover at the both ends of the pitch. Mourinho seems to be unimpressed with his Italian Right Back Darmian and his first choice right back had been Valencia all throughout last season.
Valencia would turn 32 this August and it seems Mourinho is preparing for his second-in-line as the door seems to be closing for Matteo Darmian. Certainly gifted with all the ravaging qualities of a modern-day full-back, Semedo could provide the Red Devils with a stable long-term replacement of Valencia in the full back position, certainly.