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Raul Jimenez and Luka Jovic went from Benfica castaways to the most talked about men in Europe

The Portuguese giants have missed a trick by allowing the pair slip through their fingers

Benfica duo Raul Jimenez and Luka Jovic are perhaps two of the most talked about strikers in Europe right now.

But the weird thing is, neither of them has played a single minute for the Portuguese giants this season.

Strange how these things work out, huh?

Thriving

PA:Press Association
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Thriving

After joining Wolves on-loan over the summer, Jimenez has enjoyed a blistering campaign at Molineux  and is widely considered one of the Premier League signings of the season.

Meanwhile a host of Europe’s powerhouses – including Barcelona, Chelsea and Bayern Munich – have been linked with Jovic after his standout year with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Only Robert Lewandowski has scored more goals than this guy in the German top-flight this season

Getty - Contributor
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Only Robert Lewandowski has scored more goals than this guy in the German top-flight this season

Sadly, Benfica stand no chance of fielding the pair in their team for next season. 

After scoring 15 times for Wolves already this season, the club have decided to activate Jimenez’s £30million release clause to make his loan deal permanent.

Frankfurt have reportedly done the same with Jovic, paying just over £5m to secure the services of the goal-hungry Serbian.

Just last summer, he was relatively unknown by many of us but he’s now one of the Bundesliga’s best goalscorers and he’s said to be worth upwards of £65m.

How did Benfica – a club renowned for getting the best out of the transfer market over the years, having sold the likes of Angel Di Maria, David Luiz and Renato Sanches for blockbuster prices – get this so wrong?

What could’ve been

EPA
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What could’ve been

It seems they simply underestimated the pair.

Of course, it’s easy for us to just point the finger, as Jimenez’s three-year spell in Portugal was no where near as efficient as time at Wolves.

Often failing to hold down a regular place in their starting line-up, the Mexican netted just eight times last season and spent most of his time on the substitutes’ bench.

So we imagine they didn’t think twice when Wolves came in for him back in June.

Jimenez was rarely a starter for Benfica

AFP or licensors
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Jimenez was rarely a starter for Benfica

The potential in Jovic was perhaps even harder to spot.

Having been at the club since 2016, the powerful striker played just four times for Benfica and was regarded by fans as just another youngster who had fallen off the wayside.

Allowing him to move to Frankfurt on a two-year buy-to-loan deal was an easy decision, especially as he was nowhere near the first-team.

Jovic’s time at Benfica was frustrating

Getty - Contributor
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Jovic’s time at Benfica was frustrating

Now he’s perhaps the most-wanted player in the footballing world and whether he stays with Frankfurt beyond this season or decides to join one of the world’s top teams is a decision only he can make.

Benfica, like the rest of us, can only wait and see what happens, but it’s crazy to think how they managed to let both players slip through their fingers.