After having Sunday off, the squad reported back to work this morning at the Seixal. Certainly the biggest news surrounding the team are the exits of Markovic and Jan Oblak. The two players had orders to report to the Seixal this morning and only one of them showed up.
Markovic, who was all over the papers as having completed a move to Liverpool for a reported 25 million Euros this past weekend, reported to camp, and was spotted running on the training pitch. Markovic was only spotted in the afternoon session, and there was no word from Benfica on whether he went through the physical and health tests his teammates underwent last week, which leads me to believe his appearance at the Seixal is a mere formality. Although there have been a few numbers reported as the values of Markovic’s sale, the truth is that Benfica only owns 50% of his rights, a half that cost Benfica 6.5 million last season.
There’s no denying we are before a player that has the potential to be in the reserved lot of best in the world in 2 years times. We will have to wait and see what the values involved will be, to really be able to determine whether it was a good deal for Benfica or not. His talent is undeniable, and what he brought to this team this past season is something that is not easily replaced.
As for Jan Oblak, he was nowhere to be found. The rumors of his exit to Atletico Madrid gathered some traction today as several media outlets reported Oblak will be leaving Benfica after Atletico paid his rescission clause of 16 million euros. A great deal for Benfica if you ask me, what is not so great is his absence from camp today, which is a bit reminiscent of what happened right around this time this year. Benfica has stated to Lusa News Agency that Oblak was not authorized to miss today’s session, and are waiting for communication from the player. Oblak’s importance to the team this past season and for the upcoming season can’t be underplayed, but the values being spoken about(16 million) are too hard to pass up.
Loris Benito introduced himself to the fans on Benfica TV today. The left back promised a lot of hard work, and to leave everything on the pitch, as he understands the magnitude of a club like Benfica and what the fans expect.
The team will return to the Seixal Tuesday morning to continue their pre-season.