Fulham were one of several Premier League clubs interested in Benfica hot-shot Florentino Luis on loan during the summer transfer window but after his disappointing start to life on loan at AS Monaco, it looks like the Cottagers made the right decision in not signing him.
As per the Daily Mail, the West London club offered a £2 million loan fee, with the view to buying him for £25 million at the end of his stay.
However, a deal could not be agreed with the Portuguese giants, perhaps due to the 21-year-old’s new contract in 2019 including a release clause of £107 million, and he ended up joining Monaco on loan instead.
The Portugal U21 international has not had the best start to life with the French club, however, having averaged a very poor 6.07 rating across his four appearances in Ligue 1 so far (per Whoscored).
If he were to have replicated that form with Fulham, it would be enough to see him ranked as the fifth-worst player in Scott Parker’s squad, comfortably behind the majority of midfielders at the West London club (per WhoScored).
Luis, who is currently valued at £16.2 million by Transfermarkt, has been likened to Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante for his style of play but his performances at Monaco so far suggest that he is a long way off the French international in terms of current ability.
Whilst the Portuguese midfielder is just 21-years-old, and clearly has a lot of potential to grow, he is not what Fulham would have needed for this campaign as they fight relegation from the Premier League.
Luis’ former coach Joao Tralhao was highly complimentary of the youngster in 2019, saying:
“Florentino is the type of player that all the major clubs want to have in their squads because he’s still very young but he’s a very talented player in the one position that it’s sometimes not easy to find.
“It’s not easy to find someone like him in Europe, even in the world. A player who can defend like anyone is excellent, his perception of his defensive role is amazing, absolutely amazing, his perception of the positioning, the timing is completely exceptional, and attacking he can play, he can build, he can do everything the coach wants.” (per Goal)
Unfortunately, Luis is yet to live up to his reputation with Niko Kovac’s side in France and Fulham look to have dodged a bullet by not signing him. Although there are signs to suggest that he could be a great player in the future, he perhaps wouldn’t have been suitable for a loan spell in the Premier League this season as Fulham need instant results in order to stay up, not a long-term project.