Alfa Semedo and Yuri Ribeiro officially complete move to Nottingham Forest
Benfica duo Alfa Semedo and Yuri Ribeiro have officially completed their moves to Nottingham Forest.
Ribeiro, 22, arrives on what is a permanent deal, having failed to make a significant impact at Benfica, while Alfa Semedo, 21, joins on a season-long loan.
Both players travelled to England today in order to complete all the relative formalities to allow the deals to reach their conclusion.
Ribeiro, who has represented Portugal at U21 level, played as backup to Alex Grimaldo last season, and therefore struggled significantly for game time.
Indeed, across all competitions, he only played for Benfica 7 times, none of those appearances coming in the league.
Upon leaving Benfica, Ribeiro posted a message on social media for fans of the Lisbon club: “I arrived at the age of 15, with the dream of one day representing the senior team. That was achieved.”
“They were years of great professional and personal growth. Directors, coaches, doctors, physios, staff, fans and mainly the players, with whom I had the pleasure to share my everyday life and the privilege to makes great friends, it was not an easy season but it helped me grow for the future.”
“I arrived as a kid, but I leave as a man. Thank you very much, Benfica.”
While his time at Benfica was largely unsuccessful, he did have a very successful loan spell at Rio Ave the season before, playing in 29 games across all competitions as he impressed with his attacking endeavour, willing to get forwards with his dribbling prowess at many given opportunities and play some crucial passes to his teammates in the attacking third of the pitch.
Alfa Semedo, meanwhile, who is Guinea-Bissau-born but holds Portuguese citizenship and has previously stated his desire to represent the Portugal national team, spent the second half of last season on loan at Espanyol, a move that was largely highly unsuccessful.
Indeed, he only managed to make 3 league appearances for the La Liga outfit, and Espanyol fans were left unimpressed with what they saw.
Benfica fans, however, remember him best for the tremendous goal he scored against AEK Athens in the Champions League, which ultimately gave 10-man Benfica a late 3-2 victory over the then Greek champions.
He only came on for the final 28 minutes of that game, but his low long-range strike in the 74th minute was decisive.
That didn’t earn him any more game time though, and with such strong depth of competition in the Benfica midfield, Alfa has joined Nottingham Forest.
He and Ribeiro follow Tiago Silva to the club, who joined from Feirense earlier in the week, while two more Portuguese players are also on the books of Nottingham Forest - Joao Carvalho and Tobias Figueiredo.