Gedson Fernandes

Premier League Preview: Watford v. Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League Preview: Watford v. Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League Preview: Watford v. Tottenham Hotspur

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Watford begins a run of three matches in five days with a visit from Tottenham Hotspur to Vicarage Road on Saturday (Watch Live at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The resurgent Hornets have climbed out of the Bottom Three under new boss Nigel Pearson. The challenge now comes in the form of a postponed FA Cup replay means they face Spurs, Aston Villa, and Tranmere Rovers by Thursday.

And if the Hornets beat Tranmere, they host Manchester United three days later.

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“The planning’s done for the week,” Pearson said. “But outside of that we’ve got to also be prepared for variables we don’t know about at the minute and that would be potential injuries and anything else and it makes it even clearer that I’m not going to send the strongest side to play Tranmere.”

Spurs will welcome any advantage, as Jose Mourinho’s side is winless in three league matches and played a replay with Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

Tottenham has dropped nine points back of the Top Four and four back of fifth place Manchester United. The club is waiting on several transfer issues, including wantaway Christian Eriksen and the absence of suitable fill-in for injured Harry Kane.

Mourinho said there’s been no offer yet from Inter Milan for Christian Eriksen, and that Giovani Lo Celso‘s loan will likely be made permanent.

How Mourinho uses new loanee Gedson Fernandes will be interesting, as the Portuguese midfielder may start for his countryman.


Injuries/suspensions

Watford: OUT — Tom Cleverley, Kiko Femenia, Danny Welbeck. QUESTIONABLE — Will Hughes.

Spurs: OUT — Moussa Sissoko, Harry Kane. QUESTIONABLE — Ben Davies, Tanguy Ndombele, Hugo Lloris


Probable lineups

Watford: Foster, Masina, Cathcart, Dawson, Mariappa, Capoue, Chalobah, Deulofeu, Doucoure, Sarr, Deeney.

Spurs: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rose, Aurier, Winks, Fernandes, Son, Lucas, Dele.


What they’re saying

Nigel Pearson on the Tranmere postponement: “To get up there and find their kit man hadn’t bothered setting out their kit because he knew it would be off is a bit of a frustration for us because we travelled up and a lot of our fans had got to Northampton by the time that they found out, so it is a frustration and it adds on to what’s already a hectic week next week.”

Jose Mourinho on loan signing Gedson Fernandes: “He’s a kid that can play different positions in midfielder, even wide on the right if we need. We got him for his multi-functionality. He’s what I used to call a special loan. He’s not a three month loan and goodbyes. One-and-a-half year loan when he’ll have time to develop, and who knows if he doesn’t stay here for a number of years.”


Prediction

Spurs get a bit of relief and Watford a mild reality check in a 1-0 decision.

Tottenham sign Gedson Fernandes

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Tottenham have signed Gedson Fernandes on an initial 18-month loan from Benfica with an option to buy.

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Fernandes, 21, had been linked with Manchester United, West Ham and Chelsea but he has landed in north London as Jose Mourinho’s first signing as Spurs boss.

The Portuguese international has been out of favor at Benfica in recent months but is highly regarded in his homeland and the attacking midfielder would appear to be a direct replacement for Christian Eriksen who is edging towards a January move to Inter Milan.

Speaking about his arrival, Fernandes was determined to make his loan to Spurs a success. If he does so, the transfer fee for a permanent move is believed to be in the region of $70 million.

Spurs need reinforcements, that much is clear, as they’re now nine points off the top four in the Premier League and will be without leading goalscorer Harry Kane.

Gedson will add creativity and flair in central midfield and although he is young, with Moussa Sissoko out injured and Eriksen likely leaving in the coming weeks, he will get plenty of opportunities to play.

Mourinho’s first signing is one for the future and with Japhet Tanganga breaking through over the last week, all of a sudden this Spurs team has a more youthful look to it.

That’s probably a good thing as plenty of the established stars have had seasons to forget up until this point. A new era is being ushered in at Spurs and it will be very interesting to see how much business Mourinho does this month with a new striker, right back, center back and holding midfielder needed.

If Mourinho can convince Daniel Levy to at least sign one or two more players then Spurs could just hang in the top four race between now and the end of the season.

West Ham, Chelsea reportedly make bids for Gedson Fernandes

Chelsea and West Ham bid for Gedson Fernandes
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The Gedson Fernandes sweepstakes have a pair of London entrants.

The Portuguese playmaker has been linked with Manchester United, West Ham United, and a bevy of other suitors, and has reportedly drawn a concrete offers from the Irons and Chelsea.

It’s said that the Blues made a loan-to-buy offer with an eventual $72 million price tag for Fernandes, who turns 21 on Thursday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Chelsea’s offer would turn into an obligation to buy if Fernandes played in 50 percent or more of their matches. That’s a big ask for a youngster at Chelsea, given their depth.

West Ham is linked with a $43 million loan-to-buy offer, too, according to Sky Sports.

A center midfielder who can play forward, he’s also played left and right midfield.

Fernandes is out of favor at Benfica, his single-minute cameo for Bruno Lage on Jan. 4 a first league outing for since November. Lage is a former Swansea and Sheffield Wednesday assistant under Carlos Carvalhal.

Fernandes has not recorded a goal or an assist this season, but the twice-capped Portuguese international has a solid resume. He has three goals and seven assists in 59 senior appearances.

Transfer rumor roundup: Gedson to Man United; Batshuayi to Villa

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January is here and the transfer window is open again with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea linked with plenty of big moves as they aim to boost their top four hopes.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]  

With that in mind, here’s a look at the latest transfer rumors and news from around the Premier League.

We will keep you updated with all the latest goings on throughout this month with analysis and reaction right here at Pro Soccer Talk.


Portuguese outlet Record claim that representatives of Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes are in the UK to talk about a possible move to Manchester United in the January transfer window.

Per the report it is believed Benfica want to loan out Fernandes for 18 months as his release clause of $133 million will not be met as he’s fallen out with their head coach Bruno Lage and is no longer a regular for the Lisbon club.

Fernandes, 20, has been linked with four Premier League clubs plus Lyon and AC Milan, as the Portuguese international is seen as one of Benfica’s most talented young players. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already hinted at buying a new central midfielder as question marks around Paul Pogba‘s future remains and both Pogba and Scott McTominay are out injured of for the opening months of 2020.

How would Fernandes slot in at United? He is an attacking central midfielder and that is an area where they have really struggled this season. When playing against teams from the bottom half of the table they have lacked creativity in the final third and Jesse Lingard has been out of form, while Pogba has been out with injury, and Andreas Pereira is the only other option in that area of the pitch.

United need to find a Plan B for their attack when teams sit back and stop the pace of the likes of Rashford, Martial and James on the break, and they were linked all summer long with another Portuguese international, Bruno Fernandes, who stayed at Sporting Lisbon instead.

With their defense and attack set, it is only right United should be focusing on strengthening their midfield and having a better balance. Fernandes is young and hungry to impress and this could be a good option for United, especially with Pogba either injured or inconsistent.


Sky Sports, our partners in the UK, are reporting that Aston Villa have enquired about the possibility of signing Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi on loan due to a serious knee injury to Wesley.

The Brazilian striker was stretchered off the pitch in Villa’s win at Burnley on New Year’s Day and although they are waiting to get news on how serious the injury is, Dean Smith and his staff are already preparing for the worst amid fears Wesley will not play again this season.

Batshuayi’s game time at Chelsea has been limited all season long but he did score goals after jumping off the bench in key moments in both the UEFA Champions League and Premier League so far under Frank Lampard, but Tammy Abraham is Chelsea’s main central striker.

Per the report Batshuayi is “highly unlikely to leave Stamford Bridge” as he wants to try and nail down a place in Lampard’s plans. If Chelsea do add another striker in January (they’ve been linked consistently with Timo Werner) then perhaps Batshuayi’s situation will change.

Transfer rumor roundup: Man Utd linked with Benfica mid; Moyes targets duo

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Erling Haland has moved to Borussia Dortmund and Pedro may be departing Chelsea, so what’s next?

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Manchester United is looking toward Benfica center midfielder Gedson Fernandes, according to Sky Sports.

Fernandes, 20, has a big price tag attached to him but that fee may take a dive given the player has dipped down his manager’s pecking order.

The report says it could be a loan deal with a $45 million option to buy, well shy of the player’s $134 million release clause.

He was twice-capped by Portugal in 2018, and has three goals and seven assists in 58 first team matches.

The low obligation loan-to-buy would likely be tempting for any number of teams, as Fernandes is yet to meet his potential but certainly had loads of it.


New West Ham boss David Moyes is already being tipped to chase two familiar names as he demands better from the Irons’ most recent buys.

Neither has starred in the top flight in recent days, as Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud has just one goal in 282 minutes this season. But he was a Europa League monster last season, and put together 13 goals and 10 assists in 45 matches last season.

Then there’s Joe Allen, who’s scored three times in 23 Championship appearances for Stoke City this season. He stayed with the club following its relegation but may be open to a top flight return.

The 29-year-old has 199 Premier League appearances.


Newcastle United is turning its eyes to Scotland for another attacking threat.

Lewis Smith, 19, has caught the attention of the Scottish Premiership at Hamilton Academic, where he’s scored four times with three assists this season.

He’s played in the center of the park and at right midfield as well on both wings. Smith has repped Scotland as the U-17 and U-21 levels.