The result was as expected, and for Klopp so too was the tactical background of the clash, having selected Benfica B due to the similarities in setup between them and Tottenham.
Manager Renato Paiva tasked his side with replicating Spurs’ approach, and the goal Mane scored in that behind-closed-doors meeting came from the same situation to which he won the penalty for Liverpool’s final opener.
But while the emphasis was on Klopp’s side as they steeled themselves to bring home a sixth European Cup, the German was impressed with the opposition.
According to O Jogo, the Reds manager was full of praise for midfielder David Tavares, for his “physical ability,” “aggressiveness,” and the way he was able to adjust to the demands of the game.
While it is added that “there was no approach for future business,” it is certainly interesting to hear, and could suggest Tavares will now be on Liverpool’s radar.
After suffering an ACL injury in August, Tavares’ projected route to the Benfica first team stalled, but he is now expected to make the step up this summer.
Standing at 6’2″, the 20-year-old operates as an attacking midfielder, though has also played deeper in the midfield and on the left wing.
His height, youth, the clear aggression in his game and this versatility would make him an obvious choice for Klopp’s ranks, and it is likely Liverpool scouts will be in Lisbon this season.
Tavares signed a new contract with Benfica last summer that ties him to the club until 2023, and told BTV on signing the deal that “whoever plays with this crest to his chest must always leave everything on the pitch.”