Who is Joelson Fernandes? The Arsenal target tipped to follow in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps

A summer of change is on the horizon for Arsenal and head coach Mikel Arteta, as the Spaniard looks set to make big changes to his squad at the Emirates Stadium.

The former Manchester City assistant boss took over as Gunners chief back in December and has experienced a steady start to his fist post in his management career.

Ahead of the next transfer window opening for business, Arsenal have been heavily linked with a host of big-name stars, including Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey and Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig.

But whilst the Gunners, rightfully so, have an eye on plans for the here and now, they also have plans for the long-term future as well.

Video Loading

Video Unavailable

According to a report by Record, the North London club are keeping tabs on highly-rated Sporting Lisbon left-winger Joelson Fernandes.

The 17-year-old is one of the most highly sought-after youngster’s in European football, with the tricky winger attracting no shortage of interest.

According to the report, Fernandes, who is also being linked with Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, is wanted by Arsenal and the Gunners are ready to put an offer to Lisbon for his services.

But why would Arsenal want to make a move for the youngster, who could be seen as a long-term replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left-flank?

Here, football.london has taken a close look at all you need to know about Fernandes and why the Gunners may be tempted to land his signature.

Who is Joelson Fernandes?

Fernandes is a 17-year-old left-winger that is currently contracted to Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon.

Born in Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau, Fernandes moved to Portugal in 2014, aged just 11.

Fernandes’ family already had close connections with the world of football and more specifically Sporting, with his father – Mango – having previously worked in the club’s academy before pursuing the career as a football agent.

What has he done so far?

Despite his tender age, Fernandes has been making plenty of noises for Sporting’s Under-23s this season with a plethora of fine performances.

In total, he has racked up 28 appearances for the Under-23s in the Liga Revelacao this season, which is a formidable effort for a player who does not even turn 18 until next February.

In 28 outings for the Under-23s, the winger, who is known for his speed and athleticism, has scored five goals, including a run of four goals in three games at the very start of the season.

He has also registered two assists.

However, Fernandes was removed from the Under-23s squad back in late-February to be handed the opportunity to train with the first-team, with Sporting boss Ruben Amorim believing that he was ready to make the step-up.

But just as Fernandes was setting his sights on a professional debut, the coronavirus pandemic kicked in and sent European football into shutdown mode.

Since the Portuguese top-flight returned, Fernandes has continued to train with the squad but he has not yet been handed a debut.

As well as that, he has also played for Portugal at Under-16 level.

Joelson Fernandes (left) is on Arsenal’s radar. (Image: Ricardo Nascimento/Getty Images)

Why would Arsenal want him?

Nowadays in football standing still means that you are going backwards.

Clubs are always on the hunt for the next rising talent that could be a future star for them or potentially a gateway to a huge transfer fee, as they sign them cheap, develop them and then sell them on for a tidy profit.

But with the Gunners having failed to agreed terms with youngster Nathan Tormey last week, and striker Folarian Balogun heading in the same direction, they are going to be eager to keep their academy topped up with exciting talent.

His pace and skill would most certainly fit the bill at the Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal having a track record of having landed some of the most exciting talents in European football in years gone by.

Why should you sign up?

In each football.london Arsenal bulletin, we’ll be bringing you the latest breaking news, transfer features and comment pieces, as well as the key talking points for fans.

We’ll also send special newsletters when big stories break or there’s a special event happening.

How do you sign up?

It’s easy and only takes seconds.

Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Arsenal section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.

And that’s it, you’re all set.

If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.

For more details, click here.

As well as that, his agent happens to be Kia Joorabchian, who happens to have formed a strong relationship with Arsenal down the years.

What has Fernandes said about himself in the past?

Not many clubs can boast a track record like Sporting have for when it comes to unearthing the latest talent. Down the years, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo and Nani have all emerged from Sporting’s academy and gone on to achieve incredible things.

“It is true that being compared to these players puts a little extra pressure on me,” Fernandes told O Jogo in a recent interview when asked about being likened to previous academy graduates that were developed in Lisbon.

“I try to follow their example and play the best I can in each game.”

Source link

Leave a Reply