Swansea snare Benfica frontman Nelson Oliveira on loan
Swansea City, 9/1 with Coral to achieve a top six finish this season, have landed Benfica and Portugal forward Nelson Oliveira on loan for the remainder of the campaign.
Garry Monk has been seeking temporary cover for when top scorer Wilfried Bony is away on international duty with the Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea this winter.
“That’s why I’ve brought Nelson in who is a very good player,” said Swans manager Monk. “I watched him a lot and am happy to have signed him.
“It was important to get another player to push along with Bafetimbi Gomis here during that period [Bony is away].”
Oliveira, 23, has played just 27 minutes of first-team football at the Lisbon giants this season. The emergence of Brazilian attacker Anderson Talisca under Jorge Jesus is the main reason for this player, capped 14 times by the Navigators, falling down Benfica’s pecking order.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Oliveira to Swansea’s official site upon signing. “I already know quite a bit about Swansea and it was their style of play and the ambience at the club that attracted me. It was an easy decision to make.
“The deal was agreed early so I can spend an extra 10 days in Swansea training with the squad and getting to know my new team-mates. That way I hope to be ready to offer my services to the team that much earlier.
“I want to prepare properly for the challenge. It’s going to be a big challenge because I have a lot of respect for fellow strikers Wilfried Bony and Bafetimbi Gomis.
“I have to earn the right and respect from the manager and my team-mates on the training ground to play. But I’m highly motivated to score goals and help the team.”
Oliveira, who was part of the Portugal squad that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2012 under Paulo Bento, can make his Swansea debut away at QPR on New Year’s Day. Monk is odds-on at 8/11 to steer the Liberty Stadium outfit to a top half finish.