Gedson Fernandes Would Help Tottenham Hotspur Maintain Youth-Led Project
Fernandes is a highly rated 21-year-old, currently playing at Benfica. He has featured for Portugal throughout his youth career. In addition, he has played twice for his country’s first team. His experience also stretches to the Champions League.
Spurs fans will definitely like his ability to drive forward in midfield. His dribbling ability is impressive, and he battles well to keep hold of the ball. At youth level, he was not a prolific goalscorer but with his running and technical ability, he was able to score some goals, including from distance and from set-pieces. This is something Mourinho might be able to increase by working with the player, just as he is revitalising Dele Alli.
Spurs lack depth in a number of positions in their squad. Some of this has been exacerbated by injury. Moussa Sissoko is out until April, after undergoing knee surgery. He was a key player in the midfield and will be missed. Even without these injuries, there could be a much greater squad depth overall. Thus, bringing in Gedson Fernandes in January would be really helpful in the short-term.
The more successive and exciting of recent Spurs squads have brought out young players onto the pitch. In some cases, it led to players such as Nabil Bentaleb, Tom Carroll and Alex Pritchard making their own way into their football careers. But, it also led to the development of players like Harry Kane and Harry Winks. The fans much prefer to see a local, or at the very least, a young player doing well at their club.
But, there is also the economic argument for signing younger, less reputable players. It is best to sign players like Gedson Fernandes early in their careers to be able to bring them to fruition at a lower price. Furthermore, with a longer-term manager, it allows the manager to cultivate the player in the style that is best for their squad.
There are a number of ageing players in the squad. Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Hugo Lloris, Danny Rose, Moussa Sissoko are the more experienced players in the squad. In addition, players like Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Harry Kane are much further along in their careers compared to when Mauricio Pochettino first took charge of Spurs. Experience is necessary in a squad, but continuing to develop younger players to challenge the current squad is important.
Mourinho seems to be following the Spurs model. Japhet Tanganga made a good debut against Liverpool. Players such as Oliver Skipp, Troy Parrott and Brandon Austin either make brief cameos or sit on the bench ready if called upon. These players have been developed at the youth academy, and they should be prioritised in terms of playing time. However, a few careful signings could help to bolster the squad without compromising on this.