Anderson Talisca is the new sensation in Portugal. The 20-year-old Brazilian, who has hit the ground running and is tipped to be a major star for his club and country, has been under the watchful eye of several Premier League heavy weights including the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.
The Brazilian is one of the few positives for the Eagles in summer in an otherwise a frustrating transfer window for the Portugal giants. Benfica, like all other Portugal clubs, depend largely on player sales to maintain their income. However, this season it has been a story of mass exodus, with several top name players leaving the club for pastures greener, while replacements in every position hasn’t been packed yet.
The club’s top performers like Markovic, Garay, Rodrigo and Andre Gomes left, with outlay around €74m earned from transfer sales has been used to repay the debts. Yet, Benfica boss Jorge Jesus has been able to keep his side competitive, a lion share of credit goes to the form of Talisca, who has scored 11 goals in all competitions so far.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho first alerted about the player’s potential, while he was playing for Bahia in Brazil. He even indulged in a war-of-words with Jesus by claiming the midfielder should have been by now playing in the Premier League, had there been not a work permit issue.
Talisca acknowledged the interest showed by the ‘Special One’ but he maintains that he is happy at Benfica and wants to progress at the Portuguese club.
Last month, Portugal newspaper O Jogo reported that Arsenal have sent scouts to watch the highly rated youngster. We wrote:
Arsenal are also thought to be interested in him, with Portugal newspaper O Jogo reported yesterday that Arsene Wenger wants to know the details about the player before making any move and has even sent scout to follow the youngster closely this week in international duty, when he will be in action against Bolivia with the Brazil Olympic team.
United chief Louis van Gaal had his top European scout in Portugal to see Talisca score a vital late winner for Benfica in their recent Champions League clash with Monaco. And the Reds plan to watch him again for Brazil against Austria on Tuesday.
Now, Ivan Cardia of TMW reports that Chelsea scouts were also present this weekend to check the progress of Talisca. This is not the first time Chelsea scouts have watched him, and probably won’t be the last time as well – it remains to be seen, whether the Blues make move for him next summer or not.
The youngster has a reported release clause of around £35m while he has been compared with the likes of Brazilian legend Rivaldo by former Bahia official Newton Mota.