Todibo not fit for Benfica physically or tactically, says Jorge Jesus

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST 2 min read
Todibo not fit for Benfica physically or tactically, says Jorge Jesus

Benfica boss Jorge Jesus has some scathing words for on-loan Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo, who he believes is not fit to feature for his side physically or tactically.

With qualification for the Europa League knockout stage already secured, with Benfica having accumulated 11 points from their opening five matches, Jesus confirmed on Wednesday that he would be giving some playing time to fringe players within his squad.

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  • One of the players who will not feature is Todibo, and when asked why, Jesus replied:

    “Todibo will not be there. He has no physical or tactical conditions. He has not worked with the team. He is not one of the players I am thinking of.”

    Jesus provided the criticism of Todibo just a week after reports emerged that the Portuguese side were looking to cut short Todibo’s season-long loan deal from Barcelona, with him not contributing anything to their season so far.

    He is one of only two Benfica players, with the other being substitute goalkeeper Mile Svilar, who have not seen a single minute of action over any competition this campaign.

    After emerging on to the European scene with Toulouse in 2018, Todibo would sign for Barcelona for a nominal fee in January of 2019, with the Blaugrana able to land him for the small amount due to his contract expiring that summer.

    He would go on to make just three appearances in La Liga for Barce, before going on loan to Schalke, who had the option to buy him him an initial €25m.

    At Schalke, he made eight appearances in the Bundesliga, but the German outfit decided against exercising their buy option at the end of the season.

    Benfica, too, have the option to sign Todibo on a permanent deal from the Catalan side, but with him likely to be sent back to Barcelona in January that won’t happen.

    Further down the line there could be business to be done between Benfica and Barcelona over the transfer of Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez, but Jesus insisted this week that no deal would be done in January.

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