Benfica have agreed a deal to sign Raul de Tomas from La Liga club Real Madrid on a five-year contract, the club announced on Wednesday.
SL Benfica have made an official statement to confirm that they have secured the services of Raul de Tomas after reaching an agreement with Real Madrid to sign the striker in the summer transfer window. The Spaniard has signed a five-year contract with the Agulas, with his contract containing a €100 million release clause.
Raul de Tomas is part of a large group of players, promising Real Madrid academy graduates who fail to carve out a place for themselves in the first-team setup for one reason or another. For de Tomas, it was the presence of the attacking mainstay Karim Benzema that meant that he never really got a look-in at the Bernabeu.
— SL Benfica (@slbenfica_en) July 3, 2019
And, the 24-year-old spent four seasons away from the club after breaking into their first-team setup, embarking on loan spells, wherein he largely managed to be impressive. While he had a slow start at Cordoba, he ended up being a key player for Real Valladolid in the 2016-17 season.
But, it was at Rayo Vallecano where he truly came to the fore. The 24-year-old played a pivotal role in Los Franjirrojos’ promotion clinching 2017-18 campaign, scoring 24 goals – a club record for a player within a single season.
The young striker then ended up joining Rayo Vallecano for the entirety of the 2018-19 season as well. And, even though they ended up going right back down to the Segunda Division, de Tomas was a rare shining light with 14 goals in his maiden La Liga campaign. However, upon returning to Real Madrid, it was clear that he had no future at the club.
Los Blancos had secured the services of Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt, meaning the 24-year-old was set to be fourth in the pecking order of strikers behind Benzema, Jovic and Mariano Diaz. And so, a move away from Real Madrid made sense.
Hot in his pursuit in recent weeks, were Benfica, who had reportedly been keen on signing de Tomas in a €20 million deal. But, there had been suggestions that Real Madrid could use the Portuguese outfit’s interest in de Tomas to land Ruben Dias.
In the end, however, the promising defender is not a part of the deal, with Benfica paying the stipulated €20 million fee to land the striker. The 24-year-old has put pen to paper on a five-year contract, which also includes a €100 million release clause. And, de Tomas expressed his delight at joining a European giant in Benfica.
“I’m very happy to be here. After all, it was a goal I had, to make a leap in my career and this was the best leap I could make. I am in a great club, for me the best of Portugal and I am very eager to start. Of course it’s going to be a little different at first, but I’m sure I’ll adapt quickly.”
In joining Benfica, it could be possible that he could be an alternative to Haris Seferovic or that he directly replaces Joao Felix, who has officially joined Atletico Madrid, depending on the formation Bruno Lage chooses to use. It now remains to be seen if Raul de Tomas has what it takes to succeed at the highest level.