Souliho Meité celebrated his first match at Benfica with a simple message on Instagram. “The first game, the first victory,” he wrote on the social network, explaining with a photo of the game with Moreirense, the day before yesterday, in Moreira de Conejos. These are just the first steps for the defensive midfielder, who has been signed by Benfica from Turin for €6m, but already enough to leave Jorge Jesus positively affected.
The Benfica coach admitted, at the end of the match, that he did not expect “more or less” from the 27-year-old’s performance, and saw many passes “to the side and back” and “a bit of dynamism” for the reinforcements. Assuming he needs “a lot of games to be at the team level”. Meité, for Jesus, was a “reasonable” performance for those who don’t yet know the team’s routine and “don’t even know how to put themselves in the set pieces”. The analysis may have been difficult. However, the coach gets away that Mitte “has both tactical experience and physical strength”.
What can be deduced from the words is that Jesus expects more reinforcements that arrived in Lisbon just two and a half weeks ago. And he thinks he has reasons for that. Despite the short time he worked with the team, Meité was already able to demonstrate some of the qualities that prompted Benfica to invest in recruitment – strong physical presence, which applies in duels, good reading of the game and occupation of spaces, technical quality in short and long passes and above all Something in the ball out. He competes with Weigl for the position of defensive midfielder and in training (a bit at Moreira de Cónegos as well) his ability to get the ball through at his feet and dribble opponents is already visible. According to an analysis by wyscout, the Frenchman tried six dribbles, four of which were successful.
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