Sunday, February 5, 2023

Southampton Eyeing A Move For This Resolute Brazilian Midfielder: A Huge Boost If They Can Land Him?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

If reports are to be believed then Southampton are the latest side to join the race to land Manchester City’s forgotten player Fernando. Under Pep Guardiola’s grand scheme of plans, the Brazilian midfielder doesn’t seem to have any part to play after only 15 league appearances last season. However, he is still widely regarded as a top-quality midfielder with numerous Premier League sides vying for him.

Southampton had one of the most inconsistent seasons last term as Claude Puel saw his side going through patches time and again. However, some decent displays helped them finish in the top half of the table right on the last week of the season. Now, with the manager gone, the club is looking at numerous changes in the squad.

The South Coast club is known to produce some of the best talents in English football and has essentially been a selling club for the past many years. Players like Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have come up from St. Mary’s, before making it at the big stage. And this season isn’t expected to be much different.

Southampton’s midfield duo mainly featured Oriol Romeu and skipper Steven Davis. The Spaniard has caught the attention of many and previous reports had even indicated his departure with Barcelona one target. Southampton know it very well and are looking add replacements too, where Fernando comes into the equation.

Fernando could manage just five starts last season in the central midfield, despite Ilkay Gundogan getting ruled out for the season quite early in the campaign and Guardiola playing the other midfield option of Fernandinho mostly as the right-back. Aged Yaya Toure was above the 29-year-old in the pecking order and with just 12 months left on his contract now, Fernando is a definite departure from Etihad this summer.

Of course, Southampton won’t have it so easy as Newcastle United and Bournemouth are also keeping tabs on him, with the Magpies pretty confident of landing him. Rafael Benitez has been eying him for long and although City have priced him at £8 million, the Toons boss is confident to get him for as less as £5 million, as per reports.

The midfielder was an academy product of current second-tier Brazilian club Vila Nova Futebol Clube, before Portuguese giants FC Porto picked him up in 2007. He was loaned off to CF Estrela Amadora immediately before he broke into their first team in 2008. Six good seasons with them, where he won the Portuguese Championship four times, and Manchester City bought him for £12 million.

Fernando is yet to make a debut in Brazil’s national team and it looks a distant possibility by all stretches now. However, regular playing time could change that and with World Cup coming up, he would definitely fancy his chances elsewhere.

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