Ranking every Jorge Mendes transfer of 20–21 by outrageousness: Jota, Dias…

Quick Reads

Super-agent Jorge Mendes and his company GestiFute have, as usual, brokered some of the biggest transfers of the season.

Mendes was behind Ruben Dias’ move to Manchester City and Diogo Jota’s switch to Liverpool, and he also helped bring James Rodriguez to these shores.

But the powerful businessman has also squeezed fees out of clubs for some pretty bad players.

Radamel Falcao’s long-running European Interrail has been kept alive by Mendes’ powers of persuasion, and this season the agent convinced Wolves to swap Matt Doherty for Nelson Semedo.

Here are all the moves by GestiFute clients in 2020–21(as per Transfermarkt) ranked by how just how cheeky Mendes has been to the buying club.

33. James Rodriguez

Real Madrid to Everton, free

Everton signing James Rodriguez seemed a bit of a gamble last summer, but the attacker has been breathtaking since his arrival from Real.

He reportedly took a wage cut to reunite with Carlo Ancelotti, and ‘James 19’ shirts have been a big seller in the Everton club shop.

A good and surprisingly fair deal.

32. Ruben Dias

Benfica to Manchester City, £61million

Mendes arranged the £42million transfer of Eliaquim Mangala to City in 2014, so he’s still got some making up to do at the Etihad.

Ruben Dias has certainly fared better than Mangala, keeping 13 clean sheets in 19 Premier League starts.

READ: Ruben Dias and the tackle that showed he’s Man City’s £60million bargain

31. Diogo Jota

Wolves to Liverpool, £40million

Given Diogo Jota’s patchy form over his final season at Wolves, this move didn’t convince everyone at the time. But Jota settled in quickly, and Klopp’s team have struggled desperately without him since his injury.

Did Mendes expect him to be this good? Probably not.

30. Andre Silva

Milan to Eintracht Frankfurt, £2.7million

In 2017, your man Mendes brought his snake oil to Milan, gouging some £30million out of the club for young Porto striker Andre Silva.

Silva was a disaster in Serie A, scoring twice in 25 appearances, and Milan let him go in September 2020 for a minuscule fee, clearly just hoping to forget the whole thing.

Frankfurt, his new club, have got themselves a steal: Silva has scored 16 goals in 18 Bundesliga appearances this term – more than Erling Haaland.

Milan have definitely being watching.

29. Ahmed Hassan

Braga to Olympiacos, £1.8million

This lad scored a dramatic late winner in a Champions League game against Marseille, then got coronavirus after facing Manchester City.

But he’s scored seven times in 11 league games, which sounds like good value.

28. Ruben Lameiras

Famalicao to Vitoria, unknown

Twenty-six-year-old Ruben Lameiras was a graduate of the Spurs academy before spells at Coventry, Plymouth — where he was Player of the Year — and Famalicao.

The winger was having a good season at the latter and moved to Vitoria, a bigger Portuguese club, at the start of January, where he’s made a few sub appearances.

Weirdly, there’s another Spurs graduate at Vitoria: 22-year-old English winger Marcus Edwards. “I played with him for a few years at Tottenham and it will be good to be with him again,” Lameiras said.

27. Matt Doherty

Wolves to Tottenham, £15million

Matt Doherty hasn’t set north London on fire, but he was worth a lot more than £15million and remains better than Nelson Semedo.

26. Andre Geraldes

Sporting to APOEL Nicosia, free
APOEL Nicosia to Maccabi Tel Aviv, free

This 29-year-old full-back has already moved twice this season, which in the business is called a ‘Jorge Men-deuce’.

Tel Aviv is a good fit for Geraldes: he won the league while on loan there last season.

25. Gil Dias

Monaco to Famalicao, loan

C’mon, help old Gil out here!

The 24-year-old moved from Braga to Monaco for £4.5million in 2015, and this is his seventh loan. The unloved winger hasn’t yet opened his account for Famalicao.

Dias did, however, take the captain’s armband for a match in mid-January, which ended up being the club’s first win in seven games, so he’s clearly making progress.

24. Wallace

Lazio to Yeni Malatyaspor, free

Brazilian defender Wallace shot to fame in 2014 when GestiFute, Mendes’ company, ‘bought’ him from Cruzeiro in a deal that resembled the classic Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano affair.

Wallace has since played for Monaco, Lazio and Braga, but last summer joined Turkish Super Lig side Yeni Malatyaspor, whose away kit has a lightning bolt on it.

With Wallace a regular in defence, the team are doing better than they did last year.

READ: Why the shady Carlos Tevez & Javier Mascherano deals should be celebrated

23. Samu Costa

Braga to Almeria, loan

Twenty-year-old loanee Samu Costa has been an ever-present for Spanish side Almeria and scored his first goal for the club at the end of January.

22. Tomas Esteves

Porto to Reading, loan

“I came here to play, to learn, and to grow as a player and a person,” said 18-year-old Tomas Esteves upon arriving in Reading, pretending he didn’t just want to see Stormzy at Reading festival.

He’s been in and out of the high-flying Royals side but looks classy.

21. Bruno Varela

Benfica to Vitoria, free

After warming the bench for Ajax last year, Portuguese keeper Bruno Varela has been good for Vitoria this term and recently recovered from a bout of coronavirus. Happy for him.

20. Manuel Ugarte

CA Fenix to Famalicao, £2.7million

Teenage Uruguayan midfielder Manuel Ugarte recently made a winning debut for Famalicao after signing just after Christmas.

He cost one-tenth of a Nelson Semedo.

19. Jota

Benfica to Valladolid, loan

Another Jota. Not quite as good. Has one goal for the club owned by Brazilian Ronaldo.

18. Ruben Amaral

Porto to Al-Wahda, free

He’s not an Instagram influencer; he’s just a 19-year-old who’s decided to fuck it all off and move to the UAE Gulf League.

You can’t blame him.

17. Vitinha

Porto to Wolves, loan

Nobody’s sure what this one’s about.

The loanee scored a screamer against Chorley in the FA Cup but displayed an astonishing lack of composure against Arsenal, missing a sitter after a good move.

The loan will be hard to judge until we know if he ends up staying permanently.

16. Joao Carvalho

Nottingham Forest to Almeria, loan

Midfielder Joao Carvalho became Forest’s record signing in 2018, riding in on the GestiFute train for a frankly massive £13million.

A good first season was followed by a less good second, and last summer the Championship side sent him on loan to Almeria, who are currently pushing for promotion to La Liga.

Better than Jack Colback, probably.

15. Miguel Luis

Sporting to Vitoria, free

The 21-year-old midfielder has made 10 league appearances for Vitoria — a popular destination for Mendes clients this year.

14. Diogo Queiros

Porto to Famalicao, free

Centre-back Diogo Queiros has made nine league starts for his new team, winning twice.

13. Goncalo Cardoso

West Ham to Basel, loan

In came Jesse Lingard, out went Goncalo Cardoso.

“Everybody at West Ham United would like to wish Goncalo all the best for his loan spell,” a club statement read.

He’s yet to make his debut in Switzerland.

12. Carlos Vinicius

Benfica to Tottenham, £2.7million loan

The Spurs loanee has looked good in the FA Cup and Europa League, but that’s not enough to convince us he’s any better than Gedson Fernandes — another Mendes client, of course.

He’s also restricting Gareth Bale’s game-time, which is annoying for neutrals.

11. Fabio Coentrao

Rio Ave, free

After a year without a club, Fabio Coentrao is back, baby.

Mendes hashed out negotiations between Rio Ave and Coentrao’s sofa, ultimately getting a good deal for his client.

Amazingly, the agent once convinced Real Madrid to pay £30million for Coentrao just because he had an early-2000s David Beckham haircut, so Rio Ave should count themselves lucky.

10. Nadjack

Rio Ave to Grasshoppers, unknown

Twenty-six-year-old full-back Nadjack registered assists in his first two games for Grasshoppers, then got a serious injury in his third.

It hasn’t gone to plan, but you can’t really blame Mendes.

9. Miguel Nobrega

Benfica to Grasshoppers, loan

Fortunately, Grasshoppers signed this guy too, who remains fit.

8. Ridge Munsy

FC Thun to Wurzberger Kickers, £270,000

Signing a player called Ridge Munsy sounds like a good deal, but has it been?

After a very slow start, the 31-year-old Swiss forward has at least scored three goals in his last two games for Wurzberger Kickers, who sit rock bottom of the German second division.

7. Bruno Jordao

Wolves to Famalicao, loan

Literally just a Portuguese guy contracted to Wolves. Who cares.

6. Guga

Famalicao to Rio Ave, unknown

This made-up-sounding 23-year-old has played three games for his new team, winning none of them.

5. Ricardo Carvalho (a different one)

Villarrubia to Almeria, free

The namesake is yet to make an appearance.

You don’t think…? Surely they didn’t…? But the real one is 42 now…? Surely not…????

4. Albion Avdijaj

Viborg FF to KF Tirana
KF Tirana to KF Vllaznia

Moved to the runaway leaders of the Albanian league after making zero appearances for the team in sixth place.

Men-deuce.

3. Helder Costa

Wolves to Leeds, £16million

Helder Costa made his Leeds stay permanent in the summer of 2020, and he started well enough, scoring a brace in the second PL game of the season.

He’s since forgotten how to play football, and the excellent Raphinha is making him look even worse.

READ: Sure, Leeds United may have lost, but Raphinha ruined a full-back’s life

2. Nicolas Otamendi

Manchester City to Benfica, £13.5million

When City signed Ruben Dias, this was the cherry on the cake: Mendes also shifted a 32-year-old Nicolas Otamendi for £13.5million.

On his debut for Benfica, Otamendi made two mistakes that led directly to goals. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

1. Nelson Semedo

Barcelona to Wolves, £27million

Nelson Semedo is a bit younger than Matt Doherty, but in every other respect the Portuguese has been a serious downgrade on the Irishman.

Semedo’s recent exploits have included making Nicolas Pepe look like Lionel Messi.

To be fair, Wolves’ signing of Semedo isn’t half as strange as their move for striker Fabio Silva, a quarter of whose £37million transfer was made up of agents’ fees — most of which went to Jorge Mendes.

Silva, however, doesn’t make this list because he’s not actually a Mendes client. Don’t even try to get your head around it.

By Benedict O’Neill


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