Barcelona do not lack for midfielders but have added another to the ranks in 21-year-old Brazilian Matheus Fernandes who will arrive in the summer from Palmeiras.
We may get to see the youngster in La Liga action before then, as he will spend the second half of the season on loan at Real Valladolid.
Let’s take a closer look at Fernandes and check out what he can bring to the Barca squad.
This Brazilian-born center-mid got his start in the Botafogo youth system. In January 2016, Fernandes was promoted to the first team, whom he represented for three seasons. In his 76 appearances for the Brazilian outfit, Fernandes primarily played in a traditional central midfield role, however he was also utilized as a defensive midfielder and a right midfielder on occasion.
January 2019 saw Fernandes move to fellow Brazilian side Palmeiras, where he featured in just 11 games. Not long after, the Blaugranes came knocking at the Palmeiras door, demanding to pay €7 million plus €3m in add-ons for the youngster. Fernandes has since agreed to complete the rest of the season on loan at Real Valladoid before arriving at the Camp Nou.
But why exactly did the Blaugranes decide to poach this relatively unknown midfielder? Well, to start off, Fernandes has unbelievable footwork. His impeccable first touch, ball control, and dribbling skills make him a reliable player to have on the ball. When without ball possession, Fernandes also has the sprint speed and reaction time required to swiftly recover any loose ball and launch an unexpected counter attack.
Apart from his silky skills, Fernandes is a physically strong player with the ability to both deliver crunching tackles and retain possession when facing aggressive defenders. He’s played for Brazil’s Under-17 side and their Under-20 team and at just €10 million could prove to be a bargain.