According to a recent report by The Daily Mail, Manchester City are set to rival Newcastle United in pursuit of Benfica midfielder Florentino Luis during the summer transfer period. However, the same source has also mentioned that AC Milan are currently leading negotiations for the talented youngster with both the Citizens and the Magpies expected to face competition from Manchester United and Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the race to acquire his services this summer.
Luis’ Impressive Rise In Portuguese Football
Luis became a Benfica player at a young age after completing a switch from Real Formacao back in 2010. He has fought his way up the club’s youth ranks before establishing himself as an important squad player at the Estádio Sport Lisboa e Benfica this season.
The Lisboa-born talent has shown some signs of progress during this campaign after putting in a few eye-catching performances at the centre of Bruno Lage’s midfield. He has featured in seven league matches for the Portuguese giants this term, picking up one assist and one yellow card in the process.
The 20-year-old has proven his worth as a defensive midfielder this season as evidenced by his average of 4.2 tackles, 3.6 interceptions and 0.5 clearances per game in the Liga NOS and European football so far (stats via whoscored). The talented midfield ace has represented Portugal at various youth levels but is yet to make a senior appearance for his country. He is currently an integral member of the Portuguese Under-21 team, having participated in two matches for them thus far.
What Will The Portuguese U-21 International Add To Pep Guardiola’s Side?
Luis is a dominant presence at the centre of the park as he can use his strength to overpower the opposition and win his fair share of 50-50 aerial duels for his team. He has transformed himself into a solid defensive presence in midfield due to his tenacity to earn the ball back for his side. The Portuguese whizkid is a tough-tackling midfielder who has still got a lot to learn before he is ready to feature in the Premier League week in week out.
Luis’ acquisition could prove to be an intelligent move for the Citizens in the long-run as he ticks all the right boxes in terms of what Pep Guardiola demands from his youngsters. The Benfica starlet hardly gives away the ball after completing 90% of his attempted passes in the Liga NOS this season (stats via whoscored). Hence, he won’t have any trouble fitting into Guardiola’s playing style at the Etihad Stadium in the coming seasons.
Luis will not only enhance the depth of Man City’s squad but also serve as an ideal understudy to Rodri at the north-west of England next season. He has the potential to become a future star in European football, so it makes sense for the Mancunian giants to land him this summer. Plus, he will also be a perfect long-term replacement for the ageing Fernandinho, who is in the last legs of his playing career.