Name: Joelson Fernandes
Club: Sporting Lisbon
Date of Birth: 28 February 2003
Position: Winger (left, right)
Joelson Fernandes is among the young players who are dubbed to become one of the next big things in football. Of course, not much can yet be concluded about him since he is, after all, only 17 years of age. But the way his career has started, it’s easy to see why clubs just may wrestle for his signature in the not so distant future. In fact, it seems that he’s already popped up on some of the European giants’ radar and a transfer away from Portugal may be on the cards soon.
The youngster’s youth career began in Sporting’s academy and since the path towards the first team, and then potentially to stardom, is strikingly similar to that of Cristiano Ronaldo, the media have already started the comparisons with the Portuguese superstar. Of course, this is both a good and a bad thing for a 17-year-old boy.
Ronaldo is undoubtedly one of his heroes and just being put in the same sentence with him is a major milestone. However, such comparisons, especially at his tender age, can also be detrimental to his development, as can be the mounting pressure on his young shoulders. Still, the youngster is taking it slow and is, for now, focused on first making his name back home.
So far, he’s played a total of four games for the senior team of Sporting Lisbon, having previously impressed with the U23 side, bagging five goals and two assists across 28 games played. Needless to say, his career has been quite short but it was enough to put him in the spotlight, as evidenced by the ever-growing interest from abroad.
Now, with him slowly but surely approaching adulthood, Fernandes is bound to be swarmed by European giants waiting in line for his signature. None so as some pretty big Premier League names.
The latest transfer rumours state Fernandes is being courted by Arsenal. So much so that the deal could apparently even be finalised quite soon into the summer window. Still, it won’t be easy since despite being only 17 years of age, he could still be an expensive acquisition for the Gunners.
Various transfer news and updates mentioned a release clause of £41m and it will be interesting to see how the London outfit reacts to that claim. However, some other Arsenal transfer news suggests the club are looking to seal the transfer for around £13m, which would be significantly lower.
All in all, we can potentially expect the deal to still go through sooner rather than later.
Whenever a player gets compared to Cristiano Ronaldo or other superstars like Luis Figo or Ricardo Quaresma, you know there is something special about him. The 17-year-old is blessed with incredible pace and extraordinary technical abilities, making it easy for him to glide past his markers and be a direct threat towards the opposition’s goal.
Since he is also pretty comfortable with both feet, this makes him unpredictable and versatile enough to slot on either of the flanks, giving his coach an incredible asset to have. Fernandes is also not a stranger to great solo runs and direct play, striking at the opponent with speed, determination and power.
The early signs are definitely great and it will be interesting to see how he develops in the future.