His Name Is Jonas

PLAYER PROFILE

Besides not knowing the whereabouts of Steven Vitoria, the Benfica Nation is intrigued to learn more about newly appointed striker Jonas. His name is Jonas and he’s supposed to be a big deal. On September 12, 2014 Jonas arrived to SL Benfica from Valencia and signed a 2 year deal on a free transfer. Although he is unable to represent Benfica throughout their current UEFA Champions League campaign, Jonas will be able to show his merit and contribute in important League and Cup games to hopefully give The Eagles a 2nd consecutive league title something Benfica has not done since their back to back reign 1982-83 and 1983-84

During the Portuguese cup game this past weekend against Sporting Clube da Covilhã,  Jonas netted his first hat trick wearing the eagle on his chest. This is not the first time the Brazilian striker has netted a hat trick. During his three seasons (2011-2014) at Valencia, Jonas scored 36 goals in 112 league appearances including a hat trick last December vs Osasuna. Prior to arriving in Spain on a low transfer fee, Jonas played 6 years at senior level in Brazil representing such clubs as Guarani, Santos, Grêmio, and a loan to Portuguesa. He capped almost 150 games, scoring over 60 goals and has been called up to the Brazilian National Squad 8 times.

ROLE

With all of the departures from the squad since the beginning of the 2014/15 season, the Benfica Nation have been worried about who will be their new Talisman as both Rodrigo and Oscar Cardozo have departed. It is notable to mention that both players scored a combine total of 20 goals last season in all competitions. With Lima on the decline, Bébé barely seen and Nélson Oliveira recovering from an injury, Benfica although first in the Portuguese Liga have been scoring goals without the help of their strikers but of their wingers and midfield. More specifically 20 year old Tallisca who is Benfica’s top goal scorer with 6 Goals.

The 30 year old Brazilian forward may be the number 9 that Benfica were in need of to help compensate for the loss of Rodrigo and Cardozo. Jonas couldn’t arrive at a better time and has been compared to Brazilian legend Rivaldo according to SL Benfica coach Jorge Jesus. Jonas was linked to such EPL teams as Tottenham Hot Spurs, Sunderland and West Bromich Albion. Although Jonas is a striker, he can also play in the attacking midfield role. Jonas has been at the club for only a few weeks and has yet managed to live up to JJ’s hype only playing 1 league game, an impressive hat trick in a cup game will only help him earn a spot in JJ’s starting 11.

FINALLY

Regardless of who has left Benfica this season and who has arrived, although some may argue that depth is an issue, Benfica’s advantage over the other Big 3 is the quality of such players as; Silvio, Ruben Amorim, Miralem Sulejmani, Fejsa, and now Ola John who although may currently not be match fit will soon be and are all players who can provide depth and contribute to another successful season at the Luz. Right now there is not much depth but by the time these players are recovered it will be a great opportunity for JJ to rotate his squad and have more options on the bench to provide rest to Benfica’s key players by alliterating the squad and resting key players.

There is no question that if Benfica begins to lose points that FC Porto can gain momentum and take over the league something which is a top priority this year for The Dragons. It is not uncommon to see a slip up in a 4-5 point lead. The Big 3 all still undefeated and if Benfica’s strategy this year is have most of their goals come from their midfield, as long as the team is playing well together as a whole it really doesn’t matter if the goals come from Talisca, Jonas, or Jardel.

Follow Neil on Twitter : @FernandesNeil

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Author: Neil Fernandes

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