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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