Gil Vicente to Granada
Portugal U-21 captain Luis Martins has sealed a move abroad to Spain, signing for La Liga side Granada on a four-season deal. The left-back had been at Gil Vicente ever since January of 2013, when he arrived from Benfica. At Gil Vicente, Martins established himself as the team’s first-choice left back, a status that he held for his entire time at the club. There is no fee announced for the transfer, but it is expected that Luis Martins will be at least a regular team member at Granada. The Spanish team had been searching for a left-back for some time, and Martins is who they chose.
Liverpool to Granada (loan)
Liverpool have sent young central defender Tiago Ilori on loan to La Liga outfit Granada until the end of the season. Ilori has yet to make an appearance for the Liverpool first team, but has established himself well in the U-21 side. Purchased from Sporting in the summer for a fee of 7 million, Ilori is viewed as a player for the future. Liverpool has a reputation for grooming young players into first team players, and with Ilori still only 20, many hope that’s exactly what will happen.
Granada, who are brand new to La Liga this season, have acquired the services of Carlos Martins and Jorge Ribeiro, both of Benfica. Benfica have a plethora of center midfielders, with Matic, Nuno Coelho, and Axel Witsel having been brought in during the close-season. Martins, much like Andre Castro has done at Porto, has decided to move elsewhere in search for minutes.
That elsewhere is Granada, where he will play on loan for the entirety of the 2011-2012 season. Benfica agreed to pay Martins wages in full, so this is looking more and more like a win-win for Granada. The Spanish outfit have just picked up a Portuguese international, who is capable of the magnificent, that is, if he is not injured or in a bad run of form. Overall, this move will benefit both Carlos Martins and Granada, if he stays fit.
Next on the Benfica outcast list is Jorge Ribeiro. Jorge spent last season on loan at Vitoria Guimaraes, where he played relatively well, scoring twice. The left back slowly fell out of favor at Benfica, and has been almost non-existent for the past few seasons. His talent is undoubted, having earned a handful of caps for the Portuguese National Team. The only obstacle to overcome for him is staying fit. Over the next two seasons, expect to see a revitalized Jorge Ribeiro.
Overall, Granada have been very frugal in the transfer market, acquiring Jorge Ribeiro on a free and Carlos Martins on a no-wage-contribution loan. Granada have a huge test ahead of them if they are to remain in La Liga until next season, but this test will be made easier with both Martins and Ribeiro.