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Report: Benfica intends to mold Keaton Parks into Nemanja Matic-like No. 6

To this point, Keaton Parks has been touted as a high-level prospect when it comes to the attacking aspect of the midfield position. However, his club now sees him as something much different as comparisons with a current Premier League star have come to light.

According to Portuguese outlet Record, Benfica manager Rui Vitoria is hoping to mold Parks into a No. 6. Thus far, Parks has been deployed primarily as an attacking midfielder, but Vitoria believes Parks has all of the qualities needed to be a strong defensive midfielder.

The report says the club believes Parks has similar qualities to former Benfica star and current Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic. Parks’ height and large frame are similar to that of Matic’s and the club believes Parks’ ability to work out of danger and pass through lines could make him a player in the mold of the Premier League star.

According to the report, Parks has shown to be very open to the change, impressing Vitoria even further.

The process of moving Parks into the role has already begun, as Vitoria removed midfielder¬†Andreas Samaris for Parks in the club’s recent 2-0 win over¬†Moreirense.

Parks has earned four senior appearances for the club after breaking through at the tail end of 2017.


  1. If anything, it will make Parks a complete player and he will be able to play in more than one position. Flexibility is what we need for our national team.

  2. He reminds me of Ivan Drago in that pic. I must break you… Just because his club sees him as a 6 doesn’t mean that’s where he’ll play for the rest of his career.

    But the good news is that a club with a history of developing young players is willing to invest in him and sees much upside and will, hopefully, give him first-team minutes. That’s something to get excited about.

      • You can’t really train someone to be a #10 or striker. It all comes from playing in an unstructured environment for soccer. The creative qualities are not born from time spent doing repetitive drills or the in weight room.

    • Right now we have more #8’s than #6’s, and more #6’s than #10’s…..
      #8’s: McKennie, Acosta, Parks, Roldan, Delgado, Hyndman, De La Torre, Zelalem
      #6’s: Canouse, Stanko, Jones (?), (Acosta, Roldan, Partks – could grow into it)
      #10’s: Pulisic, Scott, Parks, Rowe(?), Saief (?), Hyndman (?)

      The lose of Gonzalez deprives us of the most ready CDM not named Bradley or Williams; but both will likely be hanging around for a year, or two, as the above round into consistency.


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