Tiago Dantas – Benfica wonderkid on Manchester City’s radar
According to the Sun, Benfica starlet, Tiago Dantas has attracted attention from Premier League champions Manchester City. The 17-year-old is currently in the last year of his current contract and is set to become a free agent next summer.
The same report claims that Manchester City’s officials have held talks with Benfica’s representatives over a possible move to the Etihad in January.
Dantas has been in fine form for Benfica’s youth and reserve team, catching the eye of several top clubs across Europe with his fine performances in central midfield.
As City eye a swop for Benfica’s highly-rated academy product, let us take a closer look at one of the rising talents in Portuguese football – Benfica’s Tiago Dantas.
Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Dantas joined Benfica’s academy as a kid back in 2008 and quickly rose through the youth ranks with his prodigious talent. He has done exceptionally well at the U17 and U19 levels and won the best player award at the 2017 U17 FIFA Club World Cup. He was promoted to Benfica’s ‘B’ team this season and made his debut in August.
Style of Play
Dantas currently stands at 5ft. 7 inches but one would expect him to gain a few more inches in the years to come.
Primarily a central midfielder by trade, Dantas is known as a tactically-versatile midfielder in the youth ranks, being comfortable in central, defensive and attacking roles.
His main attributes are his good range of passing and his tactical awareness. Dantas has shown the ability to dictate the tempo of the game from his deep position in the midfield with his excellent range of passing, both short and long, and is also good with his positional play in the midfield.
To add to that, he is a technically-gifted player with a lot of stamina and tenacity. Dantas has shown the ability to cover a lot of ground and often records a large number of touches in midfield, allowing the game to revolve around him in the centre of the park.
Blessed with the instincts and awareness of a central midfielder, he uses his stamina to track back and cuts out the opposition’s attacks with crucial tackles and interceptions. Furthermore, he is very good with his link-up play in midfield and contributes to the attack with his flawless passing.
Dantas is also known for his vision which allows him to spot the runs of his teammates up front and the 17-year-old has a knack for picking out the right pass and at the right time to p[lay his teammates in behind the opposition’s backline.
To cap it off, he is good with his shooting and has made a name for himself as a good distance-shooter at the youth level.
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What does the future hold?
Dantas has already shown plenty of promise at the youth level, attracting interest from several top clubs including Manchester City. He has all the attributes to play in one of the top leagues of Europe in the future, provided he continues his development in the right direction.
He has already shown a maturity that belies his tender years and he is only going to get better with time.