Tottenham look to have beaten West Ham and Chelsea to the signing of Benfica youngster Gedson Fernandes – but what would the 21-year-old bring to the Premier League?
Chelsea are believed to have offered an initial loan deal with an obligation to buy for £55m should Fernandes play at least 50 per cent of games over the 18-month period, while West Ham are thought to have made a similar offer with an obligation to buy for £33m, with a lower percentage of appearances triggering the purchase.
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Lyon and AC Milan have made formal offers but the player would prefer a move to the Premier League.
Fernandes has not featured in Benfica’s last seven games and is thought to have fallen out with head coach Bruno Lage.
His contract includes a £102m release clause – but Benfica have conceded they will not get that kind of money for an out-of-favour player.
And when given a choice between West Ham and Spurs, it appears the prospect of Champions League football and playing under fellow countryman Jose Mourinho was too good to turn down for Fernandes.
Where does he play?
He joined Benfica’s youth system in 2009 and was promoted to the first-team squad for the the start of 2018/19, promptly earning his senior international debut – having represented his country at youth levels.
In that breakout league campaign, Fernandes played either side of central midfield and clocked 1,044 minutes. This term, he has racked up just 215 minutes so far, primarily deployed as an attacking right midfielder.
The graphic below shows his heatmap and key stats from last season, revealing how he typically prefers to work midway inside the opposition half but also drops deeper.
His key attribute is running with the ball, frequently being fouled and winning free-kicks – but he also provides midfield mettle with an above-average number of duels won and forward-thinking distribution.
The touch map below elaborates on the above, revealing how he rarely enters the penalty box but operates deeper in the opposition’s half and works into wider areas, while the passing sonar indicates he rarely passes backwards.
Those tendencies play out in his shot map for 2018/19, too. He took only six shots inside the box but attempted 10 from range – all typically coming from the right-of-centre area, with a distance of about 25 yards.
The player’s representatives have been in the UK to discuss a potential move to the Premier League, and the Portugal international would offer forward-thinking creativity, defensive qualities and youth for the suitors.
How to follow the January transfer window
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Start your day with Good Morning Transfers at 9am as our team of reporters bring you the latest news and insight. Transfer Talk then follows at midday delivering analysis of the biggest stories. Then join us at 7pm for the definitive round-up of the day’s news with The Transfer Show.