Benfica’s Striker Problem

bebe Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been hearing how much Benfica needs a striker to pair up with their current main man Lima. But do they really need to buy another striker?

Next Sunday is going to be Benfica’s fifth competitive match, and they have been having  this big “problem” – Their striker can’t score goals! Although Benfica has had matches with good attacking and defensive performances(with the exception of the Boavista game), Benfica can’t seem to score goals. Benfica played four games and goals all came from players that don’t figure in Benfica’s forward line. (Salvio, Gaitan, Maxi, and Eliseu). Obviously, relying on midfielders and defenders to score goals is not ideal right?


With Lima being Jorge Jesus’ number one choice, lets have a look at the rest of the front line – Derley, a 26 year old Brazilian who was recently acquired from Maritimo where he scored a league second best 16 goals,  no small feat considering  Maritimo’s status, seems to have the right skill set to be a starter, which leaves me wondering why he hasn’t seen more playing time.


On the other hand, we have Franco Jara; a player who has had plenty of chances to show himself to Jorge Jesus, including a decent amount of minutes this early season, yet, his lack of finishing ability and sharp reactions puts him well below Benfica’s standards. Perhaps he could do well in a central midfielder role, but that’s a topic for another time


Next up on the list – Nelson Oliveira, a young player with lots of potential, and at one point touted has Portugal’s big solution to our historical center forward problem. Last year he was loaned out to Rennes and had a decent season scoring 8 goals in 35 games. A year later, and a year more experienced, he seems ripe to meet his potential, but his chances have been far and between. I certainly believe he has the potential to become Benfica’s main man in the near future.


Last but not least, we have Tiago(Bebe). He’s a unique player, the type of player that differs from what we usually have at Benfica. Tiago’s main strength is his shot, a skill we saw time and time again last season, where he scored impressive goals and proved himself a good free kick taker. Despite his good qualities and potential, he still lacks crucial skill on the ball to be able to be a difference maker on his own. However, if he is paired up with Lima in the same way Cardozo was, we could be in for a possible successful partnership. He’s fast, physical, and a good finisher in his own right. Why Jesus hasn’t tried this partnership is beyond me.

To conclude, of course I would have loved to have seen a player like Campbell in our ranks, but is it really necessary?  Benfica have at least 3 strikers that can play in front or behind Lima, why not give one of them a try and give the front line the extra “firepower” it needs to score goals?

So before We go out and buy more players, or some Brazilian from jacare paragua, why not look in house for a solution to the front line?


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Author: Peter Pereira

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  1. Great Post,

    All those points you brought up are correct, The problem is that with a club like Benfica, Expectations are extremely high and there is no time to experiment in the hopes that something works out. Especially after last season, Benfica fans are expecting a repeat of last year’s success, and with such a predictably tight table, any slip up and there goes the league…

    Other aspects of the team that were lacking seem to have been addressed except for the striker problem and as we all know a football team lives and dies by goals and Benfica’s season could be over before January if this issue is not resolved.

    It’s clear that Lima is in a funk and he needs a pairing to get him going and since the solutions don’t “seem” to be inside the squad (at least in the very immediate future) then we have to come hell or high water find the solutions. I’m sure Derley will do fine at Benfica but will he have an impact on the team in the next 30 days? I doubt it, and God forbid what if Lima get’s injured? The transfer window closed BUT there might be a light at the end of the tunnel…

    Jonas (Valencia striker) is FREE (literally) and available even after transfer window closes, and the way I see it Benfica MUST aquire a striker with that level of European experience especially for FREE. Benfica can’t afford to hope that Nelson Oliveira grows up and that Derley starts to fit in and steals a spot and Bebe is not a finishing striker per say, So in my opinion Benfica should pick up Jonas if they want to be serious about this season.

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  2. In my opinion the problem of Benfica striker is a no problem. In other words the problem comes from the fact of using a inexperienced footballer as a Talisca in the number 10 position of the 4-2-4 of Jorge Jesus.

    It is understandable that Talisca is not performing the way the team needs, becuase in the end of the day he is just 20 years old and had never played in this level.

    Nevertheless, I think we can ask Jesus, why he is giving this position to Talisca, when himself already told to the press that the brasilian did not know anything about the “moments” in the game.

    Why Jesus do not give a chance to more experienced players (Gaitán)? Or even young players but with more game inteligence (Nélson Oliveira)?

    On the other hand, why Lima is never substitute?

    I would like to see Gaitán, Pizzi, Nélson Oliveira and Tiago (Bébé) in the number 10 position, but also Nélson Oliveira, Derley and Tiago (Bébé) in number 9 position. But, I think the time for experiences has already finished.

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  3. Jara and unfortunately Nelson Oliveira aren’t strikers for a club at the level of Benfica, they need to be sold off. Derley plays great with his back to goal and holds the ball magnificently well, but he needs a chance to play in order to prove his worth. Talisca and Bebé are both very talented but Not finishers. JJ should play Lima along with either of the two unless Jonas is brought in. Another option is Gonçalo Guedes an enormous talent “Made in Benfica” who needs to be brought in gradually.

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