When Brazilians move to top sides, there’s always an expectation and anticipation for where their talents take them. Recently, there’s been a surge of exciting prospects coming to Europe. Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Martinelli and Reinier Jesus the most prominent. 3 out of the 4 have gone to the Santiago Bernabeu. Clearly Barcelona have seen and realised they need to invest in young talent themselves. So, they’ve signed Francisco Trincao (I know he’s Portuguese!) and, the focus of this article, Matheus Fernandes.
The Blaugrana have signed the 21 year old, confirmed on their website, from Palmeiras for €7 million + €3 million in add-ons. He will join the club in the summer. After their shocking reported £85 million bid was rejected by Everton for Richarlison, sanity has been restored. A more shrewd signing that is low risk, will go under the radar for now with potentially high reward in the future. That’s more like it, especially after the recent failures of big money signings by the board.
Here’s our profile on the Brazilian and why he caught the eye of the Catalan Club:
Matheus Fernandes – Style of Play
Standing at 6ft tall, Fernandes isn’t a lightweight that’s easy to push off the ball. The video shows he is able to hold his own in the physical battle, shielding the ball well and not getting shrugged off with too much ease. Though he’s not lightning quick, the Brazilian drives forward and is always looking to be progressive. Perfect for starting attacks from deep in midfield.
But the stand out quality of the Botafogo youth product is his incredible footwork. His ability to dribble his way out of the tightest of spaces and beat his man with such ease is a joy to watch. The fact he’s able to do this without electrifying pace makes it even more impressive. How Fernandes drops his shoulder and evades tackles, I could go on. Aesthetically pleasing is an understatement.
He isn’t a flashy player by any means. Or one that will tally up dozens of goals or assists. But he looks like a silky player with technical ability that makes it tick from deep in midfield. In various ways, he’s a similar ilk of player to Sergio Busquets. Comparing him to one of the greatest midfielders of all time is of course far-fetched. I’m only suggesting his play style is similar to that of the Spaniard.
The next Sergio Busquets?
Though one thing Fernandes will have to work on is his first touch and keeping possession of the ball. The highlight reel may show him beating players with ease. However, he takes risks in possession, even in his own third. If he gets caught out in a tougher league like La Liga, it won’t end well.
Busquets did and still does the simple things well. If he is the long term successor to that role, the Brazilian will have to learn to be disciplined with the ball at his feet. It’s certainly an interesting signing by Barcelona. Low risk and potentially high reward, that’s how you find exciting talent. Whether Matheus Fernandes reaches great heights at the Nou Camp or not, only time will tell…
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