Benfica, one of Portugal’s biggest and most successful clubs, has a rich history of producing talented young footballers.
That may be good news for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United.
A report in Mundo Deportivo, the Spanish newspaper, claims Mourinho has made an offer of £30.8 million for Nelson Semedo, the Benfica and Portugal right back.
It’s an intriguing move because right back is one area where United did not struggle last season. Antonio Valencia, the starter, was consistently excellent.
But Valencia—built like a Sherman tank though he is—has already turned 31 and cannot be expected to thunder up and down United’s right flank for eternity.
Then there is the suggestion that Semedo, 23, is in high demand from across Europe. Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Manchester City are all, reportedly, chasing his signature.
that kind of a situation, Mourinho might be best served acting quickly, before Semedo’s price begins to increase.
Semedo is valued so highly because he is adept in multiple areas of the pitch. Modern full backs are expected to play high, almost as wingers. That can come at the expense of defensive nous and ability but Semedo is as calm and skilful going backwards as he is in attack.
One issue may lie with Semedo’s physical attributes. Unlike Valencia he is willowy, although the Ecuadorian filled out noticeably during his 11 years in the Premier League.
Mourinho, of course, has already signed up one Benfica defender this summer, in Victor Lindelof. Settling into the Premier League, especially as a defender, is rarely easy although Eric Bailly made it look enviably so for United last season. Semedo and Lindelof, together, could help each other settle in and in doing so provide injections of quality into Mourinho’s defense.
You can judge for yourself on whether Semedo is what Manchester United needs by watching the video below.