On July 13, 2017, FC Barcelona signed right back Nelson Semedo from Benfica for a $34M deal. Semedo completed his medical the day after and signed a 5 year contract. The 23-year-old gets a big move to Spain after staying at Benfica’s first team for two years winning Liga NOS twice.
FC Barcelona finally add a first team quality right back after the departure of Dani Alves to Juventus last year. Barca had confidence in Alex Vidal and Sergi Roberto to fill Alves’ role in defense but it was still a major problem.
Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin was a major target for Barcelona. Sure he showed promise in the 2015/16 season in the Premier League becoming one of the best defenders in the league but the season after, he looked like a shell of himself making his link to Barca a complete, utter joke.
Semedo will have to take time to adapt in La Liga as it’s more talented and overall better than Liga NOS. But if he gets comfortable in Barcelona’s squad, he will make an immediate impact. Here is what Semedo will bring to Barcelona.
Semedo’s playing style going forward is compared to Alves and it shows greatly, judging by their aggressive, non-stop style of play. He is great at timing his runs and can cross the ball in dangerous areas. His 6 assists is a great example having the second most assists for any defender in Liga NOS, just behind Alex Telles’s 8 assists.
Semedo is great with his composure, always making the right decisions in the backline. He is so comfortable with the ball making the right passes when opposing teams pressure the ball. Judging by his 80% pass completion (WhoScored), Semedo is a reliable defender for any teams backline including Barcelona’s.
Semedo is very good at being an aggressive player. Although his aggressiveness is seen as a positive and a negative, Semedo is able to recover with his quickness and stay tight to his markers. His 3 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 2 clearances per game (WhoScored) is a great sign for any soccer fan who loves high pressing and aggressiveness in players.
Barcelona made a brilliant signing in Nelson Semedo. They finally get a quality right back and are set for this upcoming season. If Semedo has a good step with Barca in his first season with the team, it will be great business from the Catalonians getting him at a relatively cheap price.