Another talent Made in Seixal, João Carvalho was promoted to Benfica's first team this season, after having started to feel the atmosphere of the 1st League in the second half of the last season, when we was loaned to V. Setúbal.
By the hand of Rui Vitória, the U21 Portuguese international has already participated in six matches with the eagles' first team (three in the Championship, one in the Portuguese Cup, one in the League Cup and another in the Champions League). Looking back to the last four matches, a fact stands out: João Carvalho was the midfielder who mostly came out from the bench, in order to help the team reaching its results in Liga NOS.
In the matches sequence with Sporting, Moreirense, Braga and Chaves, João Carvalho only missed the call in the match against the Braga, in Matchweek 18. In this period, the offensive midfielder counts with 44 minutes.
On January 4th, in the Lisbon derby of the Matchweek 16 Liga NOS, the 20-year-old youngster played with the Benfica's jersey on for the first time, in the competition which Benfica seeks the Pentacampeonato (five titles in a row).
João Carvalho came in at 81' in the clash against Sporting to substitute Rúben Dias (also trained at Caixa Futebol Campus) and a minute later almost equalized the match at the Cathedral. The equalizer (1-1) would come later by Jonas, the competition's top scorer, with a successful penalty.
But there is more. João Carvalho, in the Matchweek 17, in Moreira de Cónegos, came in at 73', replacing Salvio, and not even a minute later he was already pressing and stealing the ball to an opposite defender and assisting Jonas to the 0-2.
In absolute terms, it was his second assist for a teammate to score, since at Estádio do Bonfim, against V. Setúbal, In the League Cup, he finished a great individual play with a pass for Seferovic to put the ball in the back of the net (2-2).
The way how João Carvalho performed against Moreirense deserved a detailed analysis from the coach Rui Vitória: “João Carvalho is a player who makes very good decisions in a short space. He has the ability to see what other players don’t see. He is another quality youngster arising and he showed is value."
In the last match from the Reds, against Chaves, João Carvalho was, once again, the midfielder that Rui Vitória decided to launch during the match: the attacking midfielder stepped on the pitch of Estádio da Luz at 72’ to replace Salvio.
Text: Márcia Dores
Pics: SL Benfica