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Saturday, 08 July 2017 19:05

Eagle-Eyed – Post Reset ramble and realities

Written by Sunzibad

Eagle-Eyed – Post Reset ramble and realities

 

Welcome to Eagle-Eyed the official blogspot of, and number one source of information for, Sport Lisboa e Benfica. In this weeks edition we review the Aguia’s transfer activity Post-Reset.

 

Understandably, a side boasting the quality of Maya Yoshida, Gaston Ramirez, Yussuf Mulumbu, Abdoulay Konko, Juanmi and Kamil Grosicki was regarded amongst the most valuable on the draw sheet and had its transfer budget offset accordingly as a result. So when the bustling market opened to approximately 200 player movements within the first 24-hours Benfica fans were braced for mass activity. Of the 200 transfers Benfica had contributed 2 – unthinkable for Sunzibad, a manager who is considered amongst the most active on the circuit; in Season 10 alone he had racked up over 200 deals. So what has gone wrong for the side from Lisbon?

‘Conundrum’

 

‘To manage Benfica seemed like a dream – according to the budget sheet it was the most valuable team in Pro Evo Network” recounts Sunzi ‘but the reality of the situation was somewhat frustrating’.

 

Whilst envious managers looked on as Sunzi took the helm at Benfica, the man himself was struggling to realise the supposed value behind the paltry purse he was now picking the PENce out of. The market was evolving yet a market for the likes of Gaston Ramirez and Maya Yoshida was non-existent; of course they garnered interest, lots of interest – but commanding a suitable fee in a market where lesser alternatives were moving for a fraction of the price was proving to be a problem; the club’s assets essentially a parade of white elephants.

 

 

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Gast-on the move? 

 

 

Conversely, failure to secure moves for his most valuable players was costing Sunzi ground in the market – rival managers snapped up prospective targets and bargains –‘inactivity is time being wasted and you know what they say about time being money?’Sunzi rued.

 

Vying for the more obvious players and hyped promising youngsters was a front on which Benfica could not compete, although the acquisition of Jorge Mere, now of intense media interest following Spain’s performances at the U21 Championships, was a significant coup.

 

Ultimately, a change of tack was required – the Reset had stripped the league of its household names, those that remained were commanding premium prices. Curiously, Sunzibad instead turned attentions to South America the region from where talent was being disregarded in favour of “big-league” reputation.

 

‘Thriving’

 

‘It’s where I was earning my crust as a manager – thriving! from dejection to delight, my scouting network had forged links with the biggest clubs in South America and it was paying dividends.’

 

 

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Captain Caio - does Europe beckon?

 

Rodrigo Caio was signed early in a high-value trade involving Kamil Grosicki – on paper, perhaps at a loss. However Caio is the latest in a line of exports expected to make the move across the Atlantic. The ball-playing centre-back helped Brazil to Olympic gold last year and captains Sao Paolo at the tender age of 23. Caio has already rejected moves to Europe citing pedigree or promise (of first-team football) demonstrating prudence and maturity which bodes well as an investment for Benfica.

 

Caio’s arrival was followed by Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Fernandez the whippet-like midfielder who has become the heartbeat of River Plate. Fernandez’s performances earned him a call up to the Argentine national team in June as one of a handful of domestic-based players – a decision he justified with an assist on debut. The deal to acquire Fernandez worked out at 13M, seemingly a bargain.

 

 

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Sure-footed - ambidextrous Rigoni set for Europe?

 

 

Further raids on the Argentine Primera Division marked the arrival of Lautaro Acosta and Emiliano Rigoni, the latter of whom much is expected. One of the best players in the Primera Division this season, Independiente’s Rigoni has caught the attentions of Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina Manger) and is earmarked for a move to Europe with a number of Italian clubs linked. As an indication of his form, FIFA has recognised Rigoni’s performances with an 81-OVR card and followed it up with an 84-OVR card; of course expectations of an upgrade in PES18 are more realistic (than 81-OVR let alone 84-OVR), but more than an upgrade, a move to Europe and a set of stats befitting his performances are desired. Rigoni has shown himself to be truly ambidextrous taking and scoring from set-pieces with both feet; such is his confidence on either foot, confusion surrounds his actual preferred foot. Sunzi had actually failed with bids of 22M and 24M earlier in the season, so to eventually snare the explosive wide-man for 18M could well turn out to be a masterstroke. 

 

‘Latin Spirit’

 

Fiery Colombian international Edwin Cardona – the Monterrey playmaker, now training with the U20’s after refusing to join Pachuca on loan, preferring and pining for a move to Europe or Boca Juniors instead – typifies the Latin Spirit brought to the club. Cardona averages just shy of a goal every other game playing from a withdrawn role on the left-hand side and has already amassed 27 caps.

 

 

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Cardona - point to prove?

 

The signing of Cardona was less about potential value, future moves to Europe or upgrades in PES18 – it sums up the essence of this piece; an equivalent player of Cardona’s ability and value from a mainstream European league, with similar international experience will not have cost 20M – in fact, there’s not much worth taking for 20M, the price paid for Cardona whose status as a ‘Premium Player’ (a status awarded to players won via auction) comes with the perk of a 25%  discount off of wages. Although, at 24-years of age, Cardona’s best years are ahead of him and as a fully fledged international a move could be just the tonic.

 

In the next edition of Eagle-Eyed we focus on potential Benfica’s potential upgrades in PES2018.

Read 180 times Last modified on Sunday, 09 July 2017 06:40