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'He's got it all' - Mourinho talks up Premier League-linked Fernandes

10:24 PM IST 01/06/19
Bruno Fernandes Sporting
The former Manchester United manager said the midfielder's quality was clear but was shocked by his success in front of goal

Jose Mourinho has come away impressed with midfielder Bruno Fernandes, declaring his countryman "has it all", though he admits surprise over the Sporting star's success in front of goal.

The 24-year-old Fernandes has shown impressive growth in recent seasons after a move from Sampdoria to Sporting in the summer of 2017.

Fernandes posted an impressive 11-goal, eight assist campaign in his debut season for the Portuguese giants, but dominated in his second term.

He scored 20 goals in 2018-19, finishing the second top scorer in the Portuguese top-flight behind Haris Seferovic’s 23, and added 13 assists to come in second in the assist chart, too, behind Benfica’s Pizzi.

He also added another three goals and an assist for Sporting during their Europa League campaign.

And while Mourinho did not doubt the quality in Fernandes’ game, he was surprised by the prowess in the box, given his position.

"I was surprised by the season of Bruno Fernandes. It was easy to predict quality, he is a very good player, but scored a very high number of goals for a midfield player," Mourinho told Eleven Sports.

"It shows that you need to have instinct and qualities to score and he has it all. He strikes the ball well, heads well, cool when he is one-on-one with the goalkeeper. He finds space in the penalty area. It’s all there."

Fernandes brilliant campaign has seen him linked to a move back to a top five league, having featured in Serie A for Udinese and Sampdoria in the past.

Goal has previously revealed in May that Manchester City were in pole position to land the Sporting star in a €50 million deal (£43m/$56m).

However, while Fernandes talked up City in a recent interview, he heaped greater praise on Champions League finalist Liverpool, saying he enjoyed their more direct, intense football.

Fernandes will be offered further chances to impress in the coming week as he has been named to Portugal’s 23-man squad ahead of their Nations League semi-final June 5 against Switzerland.

He will be looking turn his club performance into a bigger role with the national team, as Fernandes had just late cameo in his sole Nations League outing for Portugal.