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Arsenal make contact with Sporting Lisbon for wonderkid Joelson Fernandes: Things to know about him

Bengaluru, July 30: Arsenal were once regarded as the breeding ground for budding talents which helped them shine further on the biggest stage.

But, somehow things have drastically changed in the last couple of years. The management has looked into signing short-term recruit players from the market.

New manager Mikel Arteta although since his appointment has started integrating many players from academy ranks and looks to build his team around younger talents like earlier days.

In the short period of time, Arteta hasn't completely fixed the team but surely has improved the side drastically. They may have missed out on European birth as of now but they will again get a chance to claim it if they win the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

While winning a trophy in his first season in charge at the Emirates Stadium would be a grand success for Arteta, but to take the Gunners to the next level he is adamant to land fresh faces in summer.

They have been linked with several names already including RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano, Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey and RB Salzburg attacker Dominik Szoboszlai. One of the latest names that add into the list now is Sporting Lisbon's latest Portuguese talent Joelson Fernandes.

Here are a couple of things you need to know about the 17-year-old:

Not too experienced at top-level yet

The left-winger is an academy product of the famous Green and whites ranks since 11-years-old. He got his debut only this season after making plenty of noises for Sporting's Under-23s this season with a series of fine performances.

He has 28 appearances for the Under-23s in the Liga Revelacao, scoring five goals and registering two assists. His impressive display hands him the opportunity to train with the first-team since February with Sporting manager Ruben Amorim thinking that he was ready to make the step-up.

But the pandemic broke just that moment and the league was temporarily suspended. But he finally got his much-awaited debut post the lockdown. He has since appeared four times but all of them from the bench with just 60 min under his belt.

Player profile

Though right-footed, Joelson plays predominantly off the left-hand side, with his skills and pace catching the eye of a number of explorers. Unsurprisingly Ronaldo comparisons have thus been made with the Juventus star also known to play such a role before making a move to England with Manchester United.

Transfer fee

The 17-year-old is under contract until 2022 and Sporting have been trying to extend that to fend off interest from elsewhere. The youngster is likely to be in demand and also reportedly attracting interest from Borussia Dortmund and Spanish heavyweights Barcelona.

The Portuguese side hence may look to milk in the most out of him. The 17-year-old would reportedly cost around £41 million which is huge given the winger has very little experience in the senior ranks.

But the North Londoners seem keen nonetheless. But Joelson’s agent is Kia Joorabchian, who has close links with Arsenal. And it could play a big part in the teenager’s upcoming negotiations.

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Story first published: Thursday, July 30, 2020, 10:50 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 30, 2020
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