Rodrigo Bentancur is the latest South American starlet to be linked with a move to Benfica. We take a detailed look at the cultured Uruguayan midfielder, with Jordan Russell of Futebol Planeta.

Short Bio

Bentancur is an established cog in Boca Juniors' midfield engine-room at just 18 years of age; he is surely destined for big things. He broke into the Boca first team last season, and his huge potential was immediately evident as he slotted seamlessly into a side that won the domestic double. He has also been a shining light throughout a testing start to the 2016 season for the Argentine giants.
 
Playing style

The Uruguayan is comfortable in possession. One of his main attributes is his ability to maintain a quick tempo to his team's play. Despite a relative lack of experience, he has shown that he is able to stamp his authority on a game, even if he is not yet fully developed physically.
 
Player comparisons

Without placing too much pressure on his young shoulders, Bentancur’s game evokes memories of Andrés Iniesta and Zinedine Zidane. His ability to control possession in such a progressive way is Iniesta-esque, and he shows the technique of Zizou when twisting and turning his way out of tight spaces in midfield.


Strengths

Technically, Bentancur is one of the most promising midfielders of his generation. His range of passing will only improve over time, and he is already willing to take the responsibility of driving his team forward. This is far from easy for one so young, especially given the huge amount of pressure that players are subjected to at La Bombonera.
 
Weaknesses

Physically, he still has some way to go before he can be considered the complete midfielder. Having said that, Xavi and Iniesta have both proven that technique and nous are the most important attributes for a midfield schemer. Tactically, he also has some room for improvement, especially in the defensive phase, but this is only to be expected at such a young age.
 
Interested clubs

Real Madrid were rumoured to be on the verge of completing a €10 million deal for the Uruguayan towards the end of the January transfer window. Juventus possess a €9.4m transfer option, which they negotiated as part of the deal that saw Carlos Tevez return to his homeland. This option doesn't expire until April 2017, so the Italians will provide stiff competition for any interested party. In the past few days, Arsenal have also been credited with an interest, as they strive to renew their ageing midfield.

Transfer fee

If recent reports are to be believed, then Boca president Daniel Angelici is holding out for a figure in the region of €12-15 million.
 
How he would fit in at Benfica

There is no doubt that Bentancur would feel right at home amongst the strong South American contingent at Benfica. He has the flair, craft and imagination that the Benfiquistas demand from their midfielders. Working with a coach like Rui Vitória would only benefit his career, given how successful the Portuguese coach has been at working with youngsters like Renato Sanches and Victor Lindelöf.
 
Likelihood of a move to Lisbon

6/10. Juventus currently lead the pack for a player that is on the radar of most of Europe's top clubs. Certain quarters of the Portuguese media are sure that Boca are in the process of selling the player's rights to super-agent Jorge Mendes, which could open the door for a move to Benfica. If these rumours are correct, then the chances of seeing Bentancur in a Benfica shirt would dramatically increase. But even if he signs for Benfica, Real Madrid may still acquire a transfer option to be exercised in a couple of years’ time.

PLAYER FACTFILE

Full name: Rodrigo Bentancur Colmán

Nationality: Uruguayan

DOB: 25th June 1997 (Age 18)

Club: Club Atlético Boca Juniors

Position: Central Midfield

Height: 1.85 m

Preferred foot: Both

Twitter: @RodriiBentancur

Instagram: RodriBentancur

Category: 



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