Peñarol’s twenty-one year old Uruguayan striker, Jonathan Rodriguez has been the hot topic for Benfica transfer news since the departure of Enzo Perez to Valencia and has now been confirmed to be joining, awaiting his medical. With a misfiring Lima leading the line for Benfica, it could be the perfect time for the fresh legs of the young Uruguayan.
Jonathan Rodriguez will offer something the current Benfica side lack in all of their possible strikers, the blistering pace that they lost when Rodrigo Moreno moved back to Spain. The twenty-one year old has been widely thought of in regards to his pace and could work a treat being supplied through Nico Gaitan and Eduardo Salvio as the wide men with the possibility of having Jonas Gonçalves behind him, who has had an incredible start to life with Benfica, grabbing thirteen goals in just sixteen appearances.
Benfica fans have endured a slow start to the season for Lima, following a great season, finishing with fourteen goals in the league. This season hasn’t been the case for him however, as he has only managed six goals this season in seventeen games. This could be a great time for Jonathan to break into the side despite Jorge Jesus commenting, “It isn’t easy for a player to get here so young and assert himself straight away.”
On the other hand, there has been some criticisms on the mentality of the Uruguayan as Jorge de Silveira, a Uruguayan journalist commented that “he doesn’t have a strong head”, outlining some problems he has including drinking but still admits the the twenty-one year old has “phenomenal” potential. However, Jorge Jesus is well known for being able to transform a players attitude, highlighted with the growth in the Serbian attacker Lazar Markovic, now at Liverpool.
The Jorge Jesus effect could work like a charm again through the work he’s previously shown to help a player adapt to positions. Jonathan Rodriguez has some versatility to him, able to play in either of the three front positions, either wing or as a striker and with the help of Jorge Jesus, he’ll be able to cement a position, as seen with many players under Jesus such as Fabio Coentrao, Nemanja Matic and Enzo Perez.
But whatever the future may hold for Jonathan Rodriguez, it is certain that Benfica have found themselves a little gem in Jonathan, who is set to join alongside fellow countryman and team-mate Elbio Alvarez on a five year long deal.