If you speak to Portuguese football fans, there will still be many who say a big part of Renato Sanches’ fee, when sold from Benfica to Bayern Munich, was due to the propaganda built by local newspapers.
The Lisbon press grew really excited with the midfielder’s start at the Eagles, and a run of front pages about him in 2016, when he was being heavily linked to both Bayern and Manchester United.
Sanches, who had played only 13 official matches for Benfica, was sold to Bayern Munich in a €35m deal, with add-ons which could make this price go to €80m. Huge stuff for a 19-year-old.
Now we all know the story: Things didn’t go very well at Bayern, and that’s the reason he was loaned out to Swansea City until the end of this season, where things have also gone poorly.
The midfielder’s bad display against Chelsea was not only highlighted in the UK, but in Portugal as well. Paul Clement’s quotes can be found in several newspapers today, as the Swansea City manager had to explain why he subbed the player at halftime.
The Portuguese media still try to find a reason for his failure, and Record interviewed João Nunes, a defender from KS Lechia Gdansk, who was Sanches’ teammate at Benfica’s academy and has an opinion about the recent performances.
“He has all the conditions to return to reach the level showed in the year of the European title,” Nunes told Record.
“I think he’s going to turn it around because he has quality. He has a very strong personality and transports it to the pitch. He just needs confidence, because English football is not easy.
“He is psychologically strong. This is evident in the way he helped Benfica win the title and even by the way they performed at the Euros. He has all the conditions to return to the level demonstrated in that year.”
Will Sanches be a flop who lives from his only good season at Benfica? We hope not, along with the Portuguese media.