SL Benfica completed the transfer of Josh Wynder from Louisville City on Thursday. The deal is reportedly worth around $1.2 million plus possible add-ons. Louisville will also receive 20% of Wynder’s future transfer should Benfica go on to sell the youngster. It is a record transfer fee for a USL player.
Wynder had been competing at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Argentina with the United States. The young Yanks were ultimately knocked out of the tournament by Uruguay in the quarterfinal stage. However, Wynder has already shown promise, and he earned a call-up to the USMNT senior squad for the Continental Clasico. With the competition complete for the US team, Wynder now receives his big move.
Wynder thrilled with big move to Benfica
“I definitely still pinch myself sometimes because ever since I was young, I’ve been watching players in Europe and being like, ‘That’s where I want to be,'” Wynder explained to ESPN. “Now for it to come true, it’s crazy.”
Wynder will move from a second-tiered US club to the reigning Portuguese champions. Benfica topped the table by just two points over rivals Porto for the 2022/23 campaign. They will once again play in the Champions League next season.
“Benfica is the top team in the league. I’ve watched them play a couple times and they’re a ball-playing team, so they’ll build out of everything, which I think fits my style of play very well,” continued Wynder.
“So it just appealed to me that if I go there and I’m a starting center back then they’ll want me to build out and play the way I like to play, and so it just fits me perfect.”
Portuguese club known for developing young players
Nevertheless, Wynder will first have to work his way through the youth ranks of the club. The 18-year-old defender has been informed that he will start playing in the second team. Benfica is, however, known for developing young talent. The Eagles have previously advanced the careers of stars such as Jan Oblak, Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo, Bernardo Silva, and Angel Di Maria.
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