On June 8, 2015, Benfica President Luis Filipe Vieira reported a possibility of five new “Made In Benfica” players to be promoted from the B-Team to the main squad. At the time of his press conference he did not mention any names. In less then 24 hours later, 4 out of the 5 names were released.
Victor Nilsson–Lindelöf (CB) Age 20, Nélson Cabral Semedo (RB) Age 21, João Rafael Brito Teixeira (CM) Age 21
Gonçalo Manuel Ganchinho Guedes (Right Wing / Striker) Age 18
According to ABola, the Fifth name is not quite sure but is rumoured to be one of the following:
Renato Sanches (CM) Age 17 Nuno Santos (Left Wing) Age 20 Raphael Guzzo (CM) Age 20
Although most of these players are born in Portugal (except Lindelof,and Guzzo), the important fact at hand is that they have been brought up and trained through the Benfica system by Benfica coaching staff and played with the youth teams which make them “Made In Benfica” players. Regardless of Nationality or background this should be the most important factor for any club and that is growing players within their system. In Benfica’s case it’s growing players within The Seixal.
It seems for the past few seasons LFV has mentioned the advancement of “Made In Benfica” players or in some cases just Portuguese players from the B squad to the main. In 2014/15 we saw Bernardo Silva, Ivan Cavaleiro, Joao Cancelo, Bruno Gaspar, and Rui Fonte play little or no minutes on Benfica’s main squad before they were loaned out or in the case of Silva and now Cancelo transferred out for a hefty fee. In 2013/14 we saw Andre Gomes play between both B and main squad and was sold at the end of the season for another hefty fee (It seems 15M is an acceptable number for Benfica youth players, and yes I know Gomes came to Benfica later on but he still was a part of their youth team) Miguel Rosa, and David Simão were also sold (not hefty fees)
There are plenty more examples of “Made In Benfica” players leaving the club and whether these players are sold for a lucrative fee (15M for a player who cost 0 is still a great investment in any business) or they just don’t fit into the coaches plans, this sort of thing is not out of the ordinary in modern day football. Practically every team who has talented youth players (or any type of player) will take advantage of turning a profit when they can. Let’s be serious for a moment, I would like to see an all “Made In Benfica” championship winning squad but sooner or later there will be big top dollar clubs and leagues swooping in and making above average offers on youth players in which LFV and any other club President in Portugal can’t refuse.
When Guedes is sold to a Bayern Munich or Arsenal at the end of this season for 15-20 million, or when any other player is sold throughout this season will we really be that surprised? The shock value was tremendous this past January when “O Menino” Bernardo Silva was bought out by AS Monaco for 15 million. Benfica blogs and this very Podcast could not believe that a player who started playing with the club since practically birth was able to just get up and move on from the club that he spent his entire life trying to become a part of. When we finally saw Bernardo eligible to play for Benfica’s main squad he as quickly loaned out and eventually sold to a team he really knew nothing about. As the wise and noble Chalkboard Steve asked “Is Tallisca better then Bernardo Silva”? (regardless of goals, I think not) did Silva not deserve a chance to play over Tallisca? (Why spend the money on a foreign player when you have a great talent here) or was there other motives from day one that we did not know? was JJ just not a fan of Silva? I guess we will never know.
Whether or not Guedes, Teixeira, Lindelof, Semedo, and Manel get a chance to play on Benfica’s main squad for the up and coming 2015/16 season we may not know until kick off. Perhaps Benfica’s new coach priority will focus on playing youth talent as opposed to foreign players? all that we can do is look at such players as Bernardo Silva, Andre Gomes, Fabio Coentrao, Joao Cancelo, at their current teams and admire them from a far and tell ourselves that even though their last names are on the back of their Jerseys and the front of the Jersey may have a different crest on it they all came from Benfica.