Wolves sign right-back Semedo from Barcelona

By Sports Desk September 23, 2020

Wolves have completed the signing of right-back Nelson Semedo from Barcelona on an initial three-year deal.

Semedo arrives at Molineux in a reported £32.2million (€35m) transfer as a replacement for Matt Doherty, who joined Tottenham last month.

The Portugal international, who spent three years at Camp Nou after signing from Benfica, posted a message to Barca on his Instagram page on Tuesday before Wolves confirmed his arrival the following day.

Semedo wrote: "Thank you very much Barcelona for giving me the dream of wearing this shirt. Thank you for making me grow as a player and as a person.

"I've had three wonderful years that I won't forget. I want to thank my team-mates, the staff, the fans and all the people who have helped me from the moment I arrived until today."

Semedo is the latest player to leave the Blaugrana as new coach Ronald Koeman overhauls the first-team squad following a dismal 2019-20 campaign.

The 26-year-old featured 42 times in all competitions last season, scoring once, as Barca lost their LaLiga crown, failed to win a trophy and crashed out of the Champions League in humiliating fashion, going down 8-2 to Bayern Munich.

Arturo Vidal has left for Inter, while Luis Suarez is also expected to depart. The club blocked captain Lionel Messi's exit.

Semedo's departure had been anticipated, with Barca linked with bids for alternative right-back options - including Arsenal's Hector Bellerin, Norwich City's Max Aarons and Ajax's Sergino Dest.

Contrasting reports have Aarons and Dest close to moves to Catalonia.

Semedo was welcomed at Wolves, where his new contract has the option for a further two years.

"It isn't often that we have the opportunity to sign a world-class player from a world-class club," executive chairman Jeff Shi said. "Nelson's signing shows we will never stop progressing and we are still hungry and humble in our heart."

Semedo, a two-time LaLiga winner, added: "I'm very excited to be here. It's a very good team. To play in the Premier League is a dream from me, too."

Related items

  • Zidane: Vazquez deserves Real Madrid contract renewal Zidane: Vazquez deserves Real Madrid contract renewal

    Zinedine Zidane says Lucas Vazquez "has Real Madrid in his heart" and deserves to be offered a new contract by the club.

    The Spain international has started seven games for Madrid this season but is due to be out of contract at the end of the campaign.

    He played the full 90 minutes of Wednesday's 2-0 win over Inter in the Champions League and impressed with his direct attacking display.

    As well as setting up substitute Rodrygo for his side's second goal, which deflected off Achraf Hakimi, adding to Eden Hazard's early penalty, Vazquez also had more shots (four) than any player on the field.

    Vazquez has showed his versatility by also featuring at right-back at times and Zidane wants the 29-year-old academy product to be rewarded with fresh terms.

    "He always gives everything for us. I have always valued him and what he gives to us on the pitch," Zidane told Movistar+.

    "Now he is having the opportunity to show us what he is all about. He was a youth player for us and has Madrid in his heart. I'm happy for him and the team.

    "He is an important player and the club knows it. I think it will happen that he will renew."

    Hazard's seventh-minute penalty was his first Champions League goal since November 2017 on his fourth start of another disrupted campaign.

    He got 78 minutes under his belt, having also started the 1-1 draw with Villarreal last weekend, and Zidane hopes the Belgium forward can soon find his rhythm.

    "I'm happy because he's playing. He needs to play and get his football back. For the good of the team, let him keep growing, because we need him."

    Madrid's two goals came either side of Arturo Vidal being issued quick-fire yellow cards for dissent 33 minutes into the game after being denied a penalty.

    The victory for Zidane's men was their first ever away at Inter in European competition and put them a point behind Group B leaders Borussia Monchengladbach, with Shakhtar Donetsk and Inter three and five points worse off than Madrid respectively.

    "We played a great game from the beginning to the end," Zidane said. "We played serious and with character. They were three very important points and we got the best of us.

    "I'm happy with the players. When they have to turn it on, they turn it on."

  • Liverpool boss Klopp brands schedule 'a crime' after Atalanta defeat Liverpool boss Klopp brands schedule 'a crime' after Atalanta defeat

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called his side's fixture schedule "a crime" as he prepared to face Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League less than three days after suffering a 2-0 Champions League loss to Atalanta.

    Second-half goals from Josip Illicic and Robin Gosens helped secure an unexpected win for Serie A visitors Atalanta, who Liverpool thrashed 5-0 just three weeks earlier, as the Reds missed the chance to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage.

    Wednesday's result left Premier League champions Liverpool with one win from their last three games as they approach a run of four matches in 12 days.

    Klopp predicted his players would not be alone in suffering dips in form as a result of the congestion, telling BT Sport: "I'm afraid to say I think it could happen not only to us but to other teams as well.

    "You ask us to go on Saturday at 12:30, which is nearly a crime to be honest. That's nothing to do with our game tonight.

    "Now my only interest is I got thumbs up, nobody is injured. Now let's recover immediately. The boys are disappointed and frustrated but we don't have time for it, to be honest.

    "It's just get fresh legs as quick as possible and go again."

    Klopp selected a number of fringe players in his side to face Atalanta and saw them struggle to find any rhythm, with Mohamed Salah's shot in the 44th minute Liverpool's first of the game.

    For the first time since Opta had shot data available in the Champions League since 2003-04, Liverpool failed to record a single shot on target in a home game in the competition.

    Up against 19-year-old full-back Nico Williams, Atalanta's Papu Gomez enjoyed a successful night on the wing, providing the cross for Ilicic to score the opener and then making a second assist in the build-up to Gosens' goal.

    Klopp – whose side lost a competitive home fixture by a margin of more than one goal for the first time in 137 matches at Anfield – admitted his players struggled with the intensity of the game, saying: "Both teams didn't create a lot until they scored the goals. We saw it coming a little in the first half but couldn't avoid it or defend it anyway.

    "The ref brought a lot of tempo in the game, he didn't whistle a lot. That makes it even more difficult on both sides. It was unbelievably intense for the boys; you need one or two breaks.

    "We changed five times, that always costs rhythm, that's normal. Usually when the first half is gone it settles a bit but you could see for some players who hadn't played for a while it was very intense for them.

    "So we didn't really find a way in the game. We didn't find ways to create."

  • Diego Maradona dies: FIFA chief Infantino pays tribute to 'simply immense' Argentina legend Diego Maradona dies: FIFA chief Infantino pays tribute to 'simply immense' Argentina legend

    FIFA president Gianni Infantino has paid tribute to Diego Maradona, describing the Argentina legend as "simply immense".

    Napoli great Maradona died aged 60 on Wednesday after reportedly suffering a heart attack.

    Argentina president Alberto Fernandez has declared three days of national mourning after the news of Maradona's passing.

    The former attacking midfielder, who was the player of the tournament when he captained his country to World Cup glory in 1986, is one of the all-time greats and Infantino says he deserves "eternal gratitude" for what he brought to football. 

    Infantino told FIFA's official website: "Today is an unbelievably sad day. Our Diego left us. Our hearts – of all of us who loved him for how he was, and for what he represented – have stopped beating for a moment. 

    "Our silence, our tears, our pain is the only thing we are feeling deep inside us at this time.

    "I always said it and I can just repeat it now, more convinced than ever: What Diego has done for football, for making all of us fall in love with this beautiful game, is unique. 

    "It is, as he is, simply immense. Diego deserves our eternal gratitude for that, for having amazed us with his incredible talent and yes, for having been so unique. For having been Diego Armando Maradona, a legend, a hero, and a man.

    "Diego may be eternal now, but for forever, Diego will also have a most prominent place in the incredible story of all football fairy tales. 

    "Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends at this difficult time. Rest in peace, dear Diego. We love you."

    Maradona won the Serie A title twice during the best years of his club career at Napoli, while he also played for Barcelona, Sevilla, Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors and Newell's Old Boys.

    He embarked on a coaching career after retiring, including a spell in charge of his country.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.