Only 3 years after completing an ambitious move to German giants Bayern Munich, Renato Sanches today returned home to Portugal after we agreed a €21.5m deal (Which can rise to €24.5m) to bring the player back.
Renato was a Benfica player for 8 years before moving to Germany, with the Lisbon side having signed him as a 10 year old back in December, 2007. While Renato has admitted most of his close friends are Sporting fans, he himself is a lover of all things Benfica and after a troubling spell away from Portugal, he is delighted to be coming home.
During our unbeaten season we had Sanches on loan, he played almost every game and was a consistent performer in what turned out to be a fantastic season, and despite us wanting to make the deal permanent, Bayern were adamant that Renato would have a larger role in their squad in the coming season. However, this has proven to be anything but the case and despite appearing in 16 matches (Scoring 4 goals) Sanches expressed his displeasure at the club and was quickly placed on the transfer list for €24.5m, a fee we negotiated with a €15.5m fee up-front, as well as add-ons and potential profits going in Bayern’s direction, but I’m delighted to have him back.
I myself am known as a ‘wheeler dealer’, a Harry Redknapp extraordinaire, a cheapskate. Call it what you will, but I believe in acquiring players for fee’s far below their potential value before selling them on for bigger and better profits. However, the old record of €11.5m paid for Raphael Guerreiro had to be broken for Renato, he is the only player I would have even considered spending this much money on.
You only have to look at Renato’s attributes to appreciate what a wonderful player he is.He possesses quality in all aspects of the game and can be deployed to do a job in the middle of the park in almost any role. While the signing of Sanches means we will be required to add more rotation in the squad, he makes us a much better team having proved last season that we are much stronger as a unit when he is the linchpin in the orchestra that is Benfica.
I’m not sure many more deals will be concluded, other than some potential outgoing loans and/or sales. But in terms of our actual squad and performance, I’m very happy with what we have at our disposal. Will Sanches prove to be the missing piece of the puzzle? Let’s hope so.