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Report: John Brooks linked with Benfica exit in January window

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John Brooks’ move to Portuguese club Benfica provided the veteran defender with a new opportunity abroad, but after limited playing time over the past five months, he could reportedly be on his way out.

Brooks is one of two Benfica defenders linked with an exit from the club this January, A Bola reported Saturday. The 29-year-old joined Benfica as a free agent this summer, but has mainly served as a back up in Roger Schmidt’s squad through the first half of the season.

Joao Victor is also linked with a move away from Benfica, along with Brooks, as both defender sit low on the club’s depth chart. Brooks has only made five combined appearances for Benfica this season, logging 233 minutes.

Nicolas Otamendi and António Silva have been the top two center backs for Benfica this season, while Morato and Lucas Veríssimo are also options in defense.

Brooks was a mainstay for Bundesliga club Wolfsburg over the past five seasons, totaling seven goals and five assists in 146 appearances in Germany. The U.S. men’s national team veteran also made 130 appearances for Hertha Berlin before joining Wolfsburg in 2017.

Brooks’ lack of playing time in Portugal has not helped his cause to get back into the USMNT picture over recent months. He last appeared for the USMNT in September 2021, with Walker Zimmerman, Tim Ream, and Cameron Carter-Vickers all featuring for the Americans at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Benfica leads the Primeira Liga table with 44 points and has advanced to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. The Portuguese club will face Club Brugge in the knockout stage in February.

Comments

  1. Re Johnnyr 1/22 3:08 pm
    https://sbisoccer.com/2023/01/report-john-brooks-linked-with-benfica-exit-in-january-window#comment-1338317
    (not sure Reply works right on my older iPad)
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    If he had gone to Mallorca, he likely could have played, but would anyone who matters have seen him play? I confess that last fall, Benfica seemed a reasonable gamble to me, with a German coach, several injuries, and an apparent gap to fill between very young and very old defenders. Otamendi _could_ have gotten injured, or the young guys _could_ have made mistakes, who knows.
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    Now, though, I still wish he could get a place a little above MLS, where his courage and distribution would be welcome, even if his speed may not be the greatest and he perhaps still needs to work on concentration and attitude. (A sheer guess — it’s hard to even imagine what goes on in training from this far away, with no reporting to speak of.)
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    The BBC is reporting that Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Leeds is negotiating for McKennie. Would it be asking for too much trouble to overload that much-criticized Marsch-coached team with even one more USA player? If he came cheap enough, could he _fail_ to be an improvement on the current Leeds back line?
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    But if money and prestige is more important to him, that could be a recipe for downfall. Wasn’t it the Spurs under Popovich who persuaded guys like Tim Duncan that there was a tangible longer-term benefit to sacrificing a portion of an already large salary for the good of the team? Is that too idealistic to even hope for in soccer? (Could Gio Reyna also stop trying to make statements and choose to just sacrifice for the team, any team? Hmm …)
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  2. i wish him and any of the pool well, i just think what i think. he needs to drop down a peg or two and find someplace to play and IMO his first mistake was going for “benfica” top of table prestige rather than another “wolfsburg” type brawler. his second mistake, you look at shaq moore, he was also out of fashion as NT, he was also looking to move, but he found a good “fit” in nashville and accepted a decent salary of $700k. too many of these guys seem to gun for more money or prestige precisely when what you need is a good platform or showcase. brooks got to “play for benfica” — a couple league minutes — and then missed the roster.

    side point, this “return salary” issue, to me, can create “adu syndrome,” where you are a solid player but so overpriced — and insistent on maintaining that level of luxury –that even if you produce “some” you become GM kryptonite. a guy good for 5G 5A a season in MLS, even defense-shy, should be in demand, but not for DP money. it’s about reconciling the two where you don’t blow up your own market. surely adu had money in the bank and could afford to play for $250k and adjust to being a cog. if brooks wants to come here, sign a 1-2 year deal for a moderate salary and earn your keep.

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    • if he wants to cash in, write off the USMNT and go play B.2.

      side side point, as with last time he has taken his sweet time and as a result late window beggars are not able to be choosers in cap leagues. if he demands DP money he would severely limit his MLS market. you will have teams who don’t want to spend DP on a CB. you will have teams who already have their salary structure set. you will have some teams just not interested. he would help himself to either be released or a nominal transfer fee, and then a friendly salary.

      side side point, awful agent work, i get leaving a decision late after being put in the shop window early. that’s just haggling. but when they don’t say you’re available until mid january teams start making other plans and expending budgets.

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      • I agree with just about everything here, other than I’m not sure you can “cash in” in Bundesliga 2. I would think Benfica will be fine letting him go on a free. Clearly not in their plans and their CBs that were injured are now listed as healthy.

      • JR: “cash in” might be loose talk but my point is if this is about money in a relative sense and a club name then go sign back in germany, i am sure there will be a taker and with their budgets he will make decent money. if he wants a MLS platform to try for 2026, given his reputational fade, lack of minutes, and waiting this deep in the window, he has to take what he can get and prioritize “PT” and “platform” over “money.”

        personally i think the dumbest part is he seems to be the guy who the transfer talk starts up in mid august or mid january. yes, there are deadline deals that happen, but it’s different if they were chasing you the whole time and left some salary or cap room free just for your negotiation. this is like you walk into the room wanting to dance with the most beautiful girl having waited until the music is lower, lights are coming on, busboys are already starting to clean up the party, and a few stray couples are canoodling in corners. good luck. he keeps doing this. or his agent more accurately.

      • As I said to 2tone you never know what rumors are true, but it sounded like the priority was money. Perhaps to Mallorca perhaps to Saudi league. Benefica then has a couple injuries at CB and some young inexperienced CBs. Benfica can afford him and there was a chance with more injuries or youthful mistakes. Unfortunately the youngsters played well and the injured have returned to health. If he’s now willing to take a GAM\TAM deal around 1mill and with the allocation list no longer in place a January move to MLS could be easier to sign.

    • Wolfsburg were not interested in signing him. Reports last summer were that his team was setting his value higher than MLS was willing to pay for a CB.

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    • You never really know during “silly season”. Initial reports in fall of 2021 was they didn’t want to bring him back. Then in Jan 2022 they did want resign him. By March 2022, they told him to go find another club because they couldn’t get close on terms. You can certainly see from John’s perspective why he would try to get the most possible money from what might be his last extended contract. Wolfsburg didn’t want to pay him what he’d been making on the downside of his career, and Brooks wanted to maximize his earnings. Soccer considerations were secondary for both parties. Wolfsburg has one of the best GA defenses in the Bundesliga this year so it’s worked for them, probably would have worked better for John had he went to Mallorca.

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