The Eagles Have Landed! 7 Former Benfica Players to Make a Move to the Premier League

With the former Benfica trio of Ederson, Victor Lindelof and Renato Sanches all having made the move to the Premier League last summer, with varying degrees of success, we take a look at the impact they and some of their fellow former Benficans have had after making the move to England.

Here are seven former stars of the Eagles who featured in the English top flight…

7. Renato Sanches (Swansea City)

The Young Player of the Tournament as Portugal stunned the continent to win Euro 2016, Renato Sanches made history when Benfica received a record €35m for a Portuguese player from Bayern Munich. 

After an underwhelming season that saw Sanches play a bit-part role as Bayern retained their title – a season-long loan move to Swansea has so far failed to resurrect his form, with goals and assists so far absent from his season.

6. Victor Lindelof (Manchester United)

After numerous stories linking Swedish defender Lindelof with a move to Old Trafford, Manchester United finally got their man this summer, with Benfica receiving €35m for the centre-back. 

Despite making just seven Premier League appearances, Lindelof has still made a number of mistakes leading to both Huddersfield goals in United’s 2-1 defeat at the John Smith’s Stadium. However, he has recovered from that nightmare afternoon somewhat in recent weeks.

5. David Luiz (Chelsea)

After making the move from Benfica to Chelsea in January 2011, the enigmatic nature of the Brazilian defender made him a popular figure among many Premier League fans. So much so that the majority were pleased to see him return to Chelsea for a second time in the summer of 2016 having left for PSG in 2014. 

Luiz has been more of a success the second time round, winning his first Premier League and earning a place in the PFA Team of the Season for the 2016/17 campaign.

4. Angel Di Maria (Manchester United)

After three impressive seasons with Benfica, Di Maria earned himself a move to Real Madrid in 2010. His quality over four years with the Spanish giants convinced Manchester United to part with a then British record of £59.7m for the Argentinean. 

Despite his reputation and price tag, Di Maria’s season at Old Trafford was far from a memorable one, and after just three goals in 27 league appearances, United were willing to let Di Maria leave for PSG for £44m, a loss of over £15m.

3. Ramires (Chelsea)

Another Brazilian to make the move from Benfica to Chelsea, Ramires did so in 2010, with bruising effects to opposition players. The central midfielder fast became the engine room for the Blues, powering Chelsea’s attack and guarding their defence in a role not dissimilar to one named after one of his Chelsea predecessors, Claude Makelele. 

So impressive was Ramires’ effectiveness that when he moved to China with Jiangsu Suning in 2016 at just 28 years old, the overwhelming reaction was one of shock more than anything else.

2. Ederson (Manchester City)

After the disastrous experiment of Claudio Bravo at Manchester City, many wondered whether Ederson, at just 24 years of age and never really tested thanks to Benfica’s domestic dominance, would be capable of taking City’s number one spot when he joined last summer. 

The answer has been an emphatic yes. The Brazilian has quickly established himself as a reliable last line of defence for the league leaders, producing fantastic displays in just his first season in England.

1. Nemanja Matic (Chelsea and Manchester United)

Having moved to Benfica from Chelsea at the age of 21, as part of the deal that brought David Luiz to Stamford Bridge, the Serbian made his return to Chelsea for a fee of £21m three years later. 

Despite becoming a dominant and commanding force in the centre of Chelsea’s midfield upon his return, Matic was allowed to move to Manchester United last summer, and his performances have only served to show Chelsea what they are missing, with the Serbian fast becoming a favourite with the Old Trafford faithful.


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