I watched him since his Chelsea era and I must say I never really impressed with him as what people always rated him. He’s decent in everything overall but doesn’t have any wow or special asset in him to be called top midfielder.
He’s getting worse & worse every season, and this season he’s becoming passenger and tends to be ball watching.
Getting a replacement or not playing him in the role is one of our solution of the problem.
Jesus turned him into a CDM / DMC after Javi Garcia was sold and Benfica failed to find good options on the market, and I think that ruined his overall gameplay a bit.His old self wasn't that good anyway
Before that, he excelled in a B2B role, which he made the best games of his career . His left foot was quite accurate on passing, his middle shooting was very powerful and he had tons of stamina to go up and down.