Crystal Palace had an official at Benfica’s match against Basel on Tuesday, report A Bola, which continues the club’s run of watching Champions League games in Lisbon.
According to the official scouting lists, which Sport Witness keep a record of, Crystal Palace have had a ‘spy’ at all Benfica’s home Champions League matches this summer.
With Benfica more or less giving up in the competition, and amassing a grand total of zero points, Palace’s trips could be to look at fringe players, or could be to see how certain options get on when tested against competition from outside of Europe.
The answer to the latter question over the past few seasons has usually been positive, but this season couldn’t be much more negative.
Benfica’s Champions League failure is almost a national shame.
Crystal Palace have watched the losses against CSKA, Manchester United, and now Basel. In the summer the London club were linked with Raul Jimenez and Andre Almeida, and may have expected to see both last night.
Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã reported in the summer that Crystal Palace were one of a number of clubs keen on Mexican striker Jimenez, but he didn’t get off the bench on Tuesday night… which is the story of his season.
Almeida was linked to Palace largely by the English media, and largely thanks to a summer scouting trip. The versatile player got 17 minutes last night and 3/10 from A Bola, which isn’t the story of his season.
27 year old Almeida can play right back, left back and defensive midfield and has been a regular for Benfica this season.