Benfica midfielder Florentino Luis appears to no longer be on Manchester City’s radar, according to reports from Portugal.
The print edition of A Bola claimed [via Sport Witness] that the Premier League champions had shown an interest in the 20-year-old during the summer but ultimately chose to sign Rodri from Atletico Madrid instead and therefore have dropped their interest in the Benfica youngster.
The Sun had reported that Manchester United had sent scouts to watch Florentino in action for his club against Braga recently, with the Daily Mail adding that Benfica had included a £91m release clause in his contract.
Florentino was elevated into Benfica’s senior ranks from their reserve team last February and enjoyed a memorable debut, coming off the bench as his team thumped Nacional 10-0.
He ended the 2018/19 season with 14 senior appearances at the Estadio da Luz, scoring once, and has started all four of Benfica’s league matches so far this season.
The defensive midfielder is excellent at breaking up play, averaging 3.5 tackles and 4.3 interceptions per game this season after match averages of 3.8 tackles and 2.9 interceptions in 2018/19. [via WhoScored.com]
In his most recent appearance against Braga, he won five tackles and made four interceptions, while he excelled against Belenenses earlier in the campaign with a performance that included eight interceptions. [via WhoScored.com]
Florentino is also an assured distributor of the ball, with a passing success rate of 90.2% last season and 89.8% so far this term. In Benfica’s 4-0 win at Braga, he completed 48 of his 50 passes for a 96% accuracy rate.
A scouting profile of the youngster by Eduardo Costa for Football Talent Scout described him as a player who is very adept at covering space when defenders move forward and who often prefers simple passes to attempting riskier long balls.
Manchester City’s summer defensive midfield acquisition Rodri has looked very assured so far in his time at the Etihad Stadium, with a tremendous passing success rate of 94% and eight successful aerial duels.
The 23-year-old’s match averages of three successful tackles and one interception look decent in their own right, although they are notably inferior to Florentino’s figures for the same metrics.
Florentino’s defensive statistics are exceptional, especially for a player so young, and with Fernandinho now 34, there could soon be a vacancy to be filled in Manchester City’s midfield engine room.
However, £91m still seems a rather steep fee to ask for a player who has only 19 senior appearances to his name, while Rodri has shown in his first few weeks at the Etihad that he looks very capable of filling the void that Fernandinho will ultimately leave.
Florentino seems like a player who would be nice for Manchester City to have rather than one they desperately need, in which case £91m feels an excessive sum to pay.
Manchester City fans, do you think the club should maintain their initial interest in Florentino or is there a need for him since Rodri joined? Share your views in the comments section below!
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