Spartak fans enthusiastically welcomed the transfer of Tomas Tavares from Benfica – and there are reasons for this. The 21-year-old with experience playing in the Portuguese Championship, the Golden Boy nominee, previously crossed paths with Guillermo Abascal in his career, but in reality everything is not as smooth as it might seem at first glance.
Tomas Tavares is called upon to close problematic positions – the flanks of the defense, but there is no guarantee that he will be better than his predecessors. Many have criticized Nikolai Rasskazov, who is one step away from leaving for Wings of the Soviets, but it is not a fact that Tavares will immediately look better than the Russian defender. In 2020, Alaves believed in him, but in the end he interrupted the lease, returning the guy after only three months. In total, Tomasz played 238 minutes, that is, 2.5 full matches.
A more or less successful lease can be called an annual trip to Farensa from the Portuguese Championship, which, although it flew out at the end of the season, it was Tomas who played 18 matches in the starting lineup, for which he can boast of good numbers for a 19-year-old defender. In the attack, little was achieved, but there were no questions about his defense.
This was followed by another loan – to Basel, but it cannot be called successful either. At the end of the season, Tavares became 17th in terms of goal + assists in 90 minutes of playing time among partners. It is obvious that it would be difficult for the defender to take a place in the top, but Tomasz lost, including four colleagues in the role. But the Portuguese was noted for other indicators, but one can hardly brag about them:
Fouls committed in 90 minutes: 1.29 (sixth on the team);
Return of possession in 90 minutes: 0.93 (16th on the team);
Number of game minutes per season: 1260 (13th in the team).
Surely he could have played even more, because he had just begun to be highly quoted by the then unexpectedly appointed head coach Guillermo Abascal, but a serious injury prevented him at the end of the season – a cruciate ligament rupture. Yes, he is only 21 years old, and many even older players experienced this severe injury, but the form and condition of Tavares after recovery remains a mystery. The Portuguese has not yet played a single match this season, so it is foolish to expect that he will immediately strengthen Spartak, and even more so, one should not hope that he will play a key role in the spring segment of the season.
The transfer of Tavares is hyped, praised, but I would venture to suggest that he is too overrated. A small amount of match practice and the breaking of crosses raise doubts. Perhaps the Spartak coaching staff will be able to prepare him well in a short period of winter training, but right now it is too early to say about a successful signing. I can’t believe that Benfica, who knows how to sell players for a high price, got rid of a promising 21-year-old guy just for three million euros so easily and simply.