Southampton continue to be one of the Premier League clubs who most like making visits to Portugal, having watched Benfica’s 0-2 loss to Basel last night.
Benfica started the game already eliminated from the tournament, so it gave a few fringe players a chance.
But from Southampton’s regular visits to the Estádio da Luz, this was probably the occasion on which the Eagles least impressed the emissaries, with no performances to be highlighted.
From Benfica’s squad, Southampton had previously been linked to the right-back André Almeida. The reports first came from England, and there were mixed feelings about the transfer in Portugal, with outlets saying it wouldn’t happen, and others claiming that €15m would be enough for the player.
As we’ve said, Benfica had no chance to qualify, so manager Rui Vitória chose to start some reserves in the game. Brazilian right-back Douglas played for most of the time, and Almeida was only brought on after 75 minutes.
He wasn’t able to do much, especially because he played in midfield replacing Andreas Samaris, so despite the versatility there wasn’t a lot for the scouts to be impressed with.
However, there were two Basel players highlighted by the local press: Michael Lang did a great job as the right wing-back, while Mohamed Elyounoussi offered constant danger on the left wing, scoring the opening goal.
According to Record, the match also had the presence of scouts from Sevilla, Juventus, Barcelona, Milan, Arsenal, Manchester United, Watford, Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, Crystal Palace, Everton, Eintracht Frankfurt, Leicester City, Feyenoord, Montpellier, Nice, Marseille, Real Sociedad, Eibar, Swansea, West Brom and West Ham.