Alfa SEMEDO: Profile and Report
Alfa Semedo Esteves
Date of Birth: 30 August 1997
Main Position: Defensive Midfield
Current club: Benfica
International status: No international caps.
Int’l Debut: N/A.
Style of Play
Alfa Semedo is a dominant midfielder, able to operate both as a defensive midfielder and in a more box-to-box role.
The comparison used here will seem farfetched, although do bear in mind that this is based solely on Alfa’s style of play as opposed to an indication of his actual footballing ability. With that in mind, he could be compared, in some ways, to Portuguese international Danilo Pereira. Again, that isn’t a reflection of his overall quality per se, but rather is based more on his style and some of his attributes. Indeed, Alfa, like the Porto midfielder, is a real physical presence, and showed particularly at Moreirense that he has a very good reading of the game and tackling ability. He looks to break up opposition attacks and will try to cut down the passing lanes to try and win back the ball in the middle of the park. He will also look to roam forwards on occasions with long strides, even if he is not as comfortable with the ball at his feet as Danilo, nor as good a passer.
You could also say, again with regards to his style, that he has some similarities to someone like Nemanja Matic, just with less composure on the ball and passing capability. However, they do both share similar defensive intuition in terms of aerial ability, tackling and intercepting, for example, and both like to venture forwards occasionally - and take on some long-distance shots - too.
His superb long-range drilled shot that earned the ten men of Benfica a last-gasp 3-2 victory over AEK Athens in the UEFA Champions League in the 2017-18 season.
Certainly on paper and looking at each of his different attributes individually, Semedo could actually be a rather well-rounded central midfielder, and even if he hasn’t been able to show that at Benfica, at Moreirense, he certainly demonstrated that he has a wide array of qualities. Operating in the role just in front of the defenders, he has proven himself to have good positional awareness, able to read the game and intercept play to end opposition moves, particularly during his time at Moreirense. He has also shown that he is an accomplished tackler, working hard to win back the ball for his side in midfield to turn attacks on their head. He’s also a physical presence, which means that he can shrug opponents off the ball, or keep hold of the ball when under pressure.
Additionally, while he is proven to be a very suitable defensive midfielder, Alfa is also a very capable box-to-box midfielder, able to pick up the ball and drive forwards to instigate attacking moves; indeed, while he can look uncomfortable with the ball at his feet, he’s shown himself to be a powerful runner that is able to operate effectively venturing forwards as well, while he’s also shown himself to be good in the air.
Ultimately, Alfa still remains something of a raw talent that is yet to sufficiently impress at Benfica. The attributes he has are very promising and on paper, he’s a very dangerous and useful footballer to have, hence why Benfica brought him in, but ultimately at Benfica he has failed to impress and fans preferred to see other midfielders start ahead of him.
He often looks uncomfortable on the ball too, and he has shown that he can give the ball away a few times during a match. He is not the worst passer of the ball, but he does lack technical ability and will very rarely play key attack-instigating passes that can split the defence and create genuine goal-scoring opportunities. You could say inconsistency is a real weakness of Alfa Semedo, sometimes a little careless and clumsy on the ball due in part to a lack of composure and concentration, and he hasn’t yet harnessed his full potential, failing to show all his strengths at the same time while in a Benfica, or indeed Espanyol, shirt.
He does, undoubtedly, have a lot of potential though; after all, he is still just 21 years of age, and if he manages to show his defensive prowess consistently and cut out some of his mistakes, he will be a well-rounded central midfielder.
What a hit Alfa Semedo!— TugaScout (@TugaScoutPT) October 2, 2018
With 10-man Benfica pegged back to 2-2 vs AEK Athens and being dominated, Alfa took things into his own hands and stormed through before unleashing this low strike! What a way to win it.
Certainly has resemblance to Eder's goal.pic.twitter.com/fOL12FI9ta