Darwin Núñez switch to Liverpool highlights attacking expertise in Portugal’s Primeira Liga
The key is out. Portugal’s Primeira Liga is the place Europe’s prime golf equipment are turning for a few of the continent’s prime attacking expertise.
At the least the cash-rich ones of the English Premier League are doing so.
Final week, Liverpool signed Uruguayan ahead Darwin Núñez from Benfica for an up-front payment of $79 million, with probably one other $26 million in add-ons if sure necessities are met.
The transfer makes Núñez the second costliest switch ever in Portuguese soccer, after the $132 million paid by Atlético Madrid to the Lisbon membership for João Félix in 2019. It’ll doubtless find yourself being the largest funding in Liverpool’s historical past too, surpassing the $88 million Jurgen Klopp spent on Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk.
Whereas the payment can’t be known as a cut price, but, it has been hailed as one other sensible piece of enterprise by Liverpool’s switch committee, particularly for a participant who is simply 23, and who till the beginning of final season was not on the radar of Europe’s prime golf equipment.
Signings from Portugal have excelled within the Premier League in current occasions.
For instance, Bruno Fernandez has arguably been Manchester United’s greatest signing, having joined from Sporting CP for $58 million, on the time a document payment paid to a Portuguese membership.
And solely on Tuesday night time, Fabio Vieira’s $42 million transfer to Arsenal from Porto was confirmed.
Between July 2017 and January 2022, $1.76 billion poured into the coffers of Portuguese golf equipment, for revenue of virtually $1.2 billion after these groups invested $555 million in participant transfers, in accordance with a research by CIES Soccer Observatory.
Portuguese soccer thus had the best five-year revenue margin among the many 40 international locations analyzed, forward of Brazil ($1.07 billion), the Netherlands ($780 million), France ($726 million), Argentina ($630 million) and Belgium ($455 million).
Spectacular numbers from Portugal. And the development has been rising, slowly at first, during the last half decade.
Diego Jota, a giant success at Liverpool, made his option to Wolves from Atletico Madrid, however by way of Porto.
Wolves, the favored vacation spot of so many Portuguese gamers due to their stable relationship with tremendous agent Jorge Mendez, additionally struck gold after signing Ruben Neves from Porto, and Raul Jimenez from Benfica.
The numbers again up Pep Guardiola’s remark highlighting “the implausible recruitment of Portuguese golf equipment.” Certainly, Manchester Metropolis had been one of many golf equipment that contributed probably the most to the Portuguese coffers within the final 5 years, having signed Ederson from Benfica, for $40 million in 2017. That yr in addition they purchased Portuguese Bernardo Silva, although on this case the $50 million went to Monaco, the membership he had joined from Benfica on mortgage in 2014, and completely a yr later.
So what’s behind the success of those Portuguese, and Portugal-based, gamers?
The indication is that the Portuguese League has turn out to be a ‘trampoline’ championship, giving its greatest gamers a significant bounce on their option to the Premier League’s land of riches.
Simply as in France and the Netherlands, the enterprise mannequin for a lot of Portuguese golf equipment is to spend low, develop prime class gamers after which promote excessive.
The Primeira Liga will not be perceived among the many prime leagues in Europe, however the sale of Núñez showcased an growing actuality. That’s, performing within the Champions League for one of many nation’s greatest groups, may very well be a ticket to one of many continent’s main golf equipment.
Benfica, regardless of a lackluster home season, progressed to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, a platform which supplied Núñez the chance to placed on high-level performances towards Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool. His goalscoring efficiency at Anfield might have simply secured his switch to the Premier League and Champions League runners-up.
Núñez, like new Actual Madrid signing Aurelien Tchouaméni, prospered individually in a collectively underperforming staff throughout the 2021-22 season.
Ought to he emulate countryman Luis Suarez and go on to turn out to be successful at Anfield, you possibly can anticipate the eyes of the recruitment managers of Premier League golf equipment to show towards Portugal increasingly more within the coming seasons.