Reading Football Club are pleased to confirm that 23-year-old midfielder Alfa Semedo has put pen to paper on a season-long loan move from Benfica.
He arrived from Lisbon yesterday, watched his new teammates in action against Watford at the Madejski, began his medical yesterday evening before completing it this morning, and finalised the paperwork on a move to RG2 this afternoon.
Royals boss Veljko Paunović said, “I’m pleased we have been able to add a player of Alfa’s ability to our squad. He is strong, powerful, versatile, comfortable on the ball and full of energy - and I am looking forward to working with him on the training pitch.
“Importantly I am sure he will fit in well amongst this group of players and I am sure he will provide even more competition for places when we next take to the field after the international break.”
Born in Guinea-Bissau, Semedo moved to Portugal at the age of 16 to join Benfica’s youth system and, after a successful loan season with Vilafranquense he signed permanently for Moreirense in 2017.
He quickly impressed, so much so that he was brought back to the Estádio da Luz and made his senior Benfica bow in 2018-19.
He scored on his debut in a 2-2 friendly draw against Borussia Dortmund, playing against the likes of Christian Pulisic, Jadon Sancho and Mario Götze in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
He went on to feature in the Primeira Liga for the Portuguese giants and scored the winner in Benfica’s 3-2 win over AEK Athens in the group stages of the Champions League.
A loan spell to Spain with Espanyol followed, before the midfielder got a taste of Championship football last season on loan at Nottingham Forest.
He featured 26 times under Sabri Lamouchi, scoring twice – the winner at Swansea City and then in a comprehensive away triumph at QPR – to help Forest into a top six spot which they held for the duration of the season until the very last day of an extended promotion campaign.
Semedo, who will take squad number 30, now arrives in RG2 to tackle the Championship under Veljko Paunović in 2020-21.