Spurs sign Gedson Fernandes on 18-month loan
Tottenham have signed Gedson Fernandes from Benfica on an 18-month loan.
The midfielder, 21, becomes the first signing under Jose Mourinho. Spurs have the option to make the deal permanent.
"I’m very happy to be here today – I make my dream a reality," Fernandes told the club website.
"For me, it’s one big dream to come to this big club. I will try to give my best for the club every day, in every training session and in every game and I will try to help the team wherever I can, working hard every day for this shirt.
"I have no words to say about the stadium. I’ve never seen anything like this – it’s unbelievable!
"This is a fantastic challenge that I have accepted and I have to win my challenge. I want to make good things – let’s see!"
Tottenham are eighth in the Premier League, nine points adrift of the top four, and travel to Vicarage Road to face rejuvenated Watford on Saturday.
Gedson Fernandes of Tottenham Hotspur poses for a photo on January 14, 2020 at the Tottenham Hotspur training ground in EnfieldGetty Images
Gem or dud? Fernandes and a 2018-19 season of two halves
Fernandes’ dazzling form for Benfica B at the start of 2018 earned the youngster a call-up to Portugal’s senior squad that summer.
He came off the bench in a 1-1 friendly against Croatia, and by the time he received his second cap against Scotland in October, Fernandes was a regular fixture for Benfica’s first team.
Fernandes did not find the target in the league, but provided two assists from central midfield under manager Rui Vitoria.
However in January last year, Vitoria was sacked after Benfica suffered their third league defeat and exited the Champions League at the groups stages.
Bringing in Bruno Lage paid off for the Portuguese giants, who won 18 of their following 19 league games, drawing the other, to reclaim the title.
But for Fernandes, the opportunities dried up. He did not start any of those 19 games, coming off the bench 10 times and remaining an unused substitute the other nine occasions.
That story continued this season as Fernandes failed to hold down a starting spot before drifting further into obscurity, making just one league appearance since mid-November.
But Spurs clearly believe the talent that first carried him into the Benfica and Portugal teams is now being overlooked.
Although they have limited their losses by signing Fernandes on loan, Spurs desperately need a catalyst to inject life into the Mourinho era. Only time will tell if that’s the 21-year-old midfielder.