Saturday October 21 2017
Agent: 'Gabigol needs to play'

Gabriel Barbosa’s agent complained at the lack of playing time the Inter-owned striker is getting at Benfica. “A football player is like an aeroplane.”

The striker didn’t get a single Serie A start after his €29.5m move from Santos and has struggled for playing time on loan in Portugal too, managing one goal in four competitive appearances for a total of 148 minutes of football.

“Lisbon is good for him, he’s happy and that’s all that matters,” agent Wagner Ribeiro told UOL Esporte in Brazil.

“He has a lot of potential to prove yet, but needs consistency. He can’t play one game and then be on the bench for the next two or three.

“A football player is like an aeroplane, he needs to build momentum and stay in the air. When Gabigol left Brazil, he had won the Olympics, was a first choice for Santos and had been called up by Tite for the senior Brazil squad.

“He went to Italy, but did not have a chance to play. How was he supposed to prove his talent if he wasn’t playing? This is why we agreed with the Inter directors that it was best to send him out on loan for regular playing time.

“There were several clubs who were interested in Spain, Portugal and France. We chose Benfica, one of the three main clubs in Portugal, who are in the Champions League.”

Gabigol made the move with an option to buy for €25m.

“Whether or not he remains at Benfica depends on what happens from now onwards.”

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