Manchester City signing Erling Haaland put to rest one of the most compelling sagas in recent times. Borussia Dortmund did not hesitate in naming a replacement with RB Salzburg’s Karim Adeyemi joining till 2027. These two pieces of transfer news has dominated headlines, and rightly so. However, one bit of business that has gone under the radar has been the new striker who has joined the Austrian champions. Salzburg have roped in Brazilian striker Fernando from Shakhtar Donetsk.
OFFICIAL: RB Salzburg have signed striker Fernando from Shakhtar Donetsk for €6m on a contract until 2027. pic.twitter.com/OsRqMDTf3S
— Transfer News Central (@TransferNewsCen) April 22, 2022
For a team known for developing young talents before selling them for big money, Fernando is another gem. How will the 23-year-old fare at his club? Well, Fernando has shown glimpses of promise at Shakhtar and can evolve into a fine superstar.
Raw but talented
Fernando joined Shakhtar Donetsk from Palmeiras in 2018. Since then, he has scored 12 goals with three assists in the Ukrainian top-flight. That is not a great record, but it serves well to remember the team Fernando plays for.
Shakhtar have a bevy of players from Brazil and Ukraine, with competition fierce. The team depends on experienced heads like Marlos and Junior Moraes, with Taison an ever-present.
⚒ Fighting through the dying minutes in Madrid 👊🏻
🧡 Watch the super saves by Anatolii Trubin, Fernando's first goal in the @ChampionsLeague and other highlights of the match against Real Madrid.#Shakhtar #RealMadridShakhtar #UCL pic.twitter.com/eY3X6BOkQW
— FC SHAKHTAR ENGLISH (@FCShakhtar_eng) November 4, 2021
Therefore, it has been hard for Fernando to find game time. He has had just seven appearances in 2021-22 after 17 the year prior. However, only two of those 17 appearances in 2020-21 were start. Fernando has a lot of promise and can certainly cement a regular place in the lineup.
Lots of promise
RB Salzburg are definitely looking to an exciting future with Fernando. Sporting director Christoph Freund on his signing,
The way he plays football is a perfect match for our philosophy, as he offers a lot of aggression and tempo. He has also proved himself by playing and scoring at the highest level in the Champions League.
Therefore, the club is very confident in getting the best out of Fernando. The quick speed and rapid movements have always been a boon for Salzburg. Matthias Jaissle is one of the most promising young coaches in world football. There is no doubt he will be the perfect manager for Fernando to further progress in his career.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) November 3, 2021
Salzburg have been a great proving ground for players aiming to launch into Europe. Given their total dominance in Austria, Fernando will get chances to play in the Champions League too. The farm teams system of Red Bull means that Fernando will be in a totally different environment from that of Shakhtar Donetsk.
There’s always a risk of these kind of transfers not working out. Fernando knows the route to goal but is not a consistent traveler on it yet. Salzburg have a big task ahead of the, given he has signed till 2027.
The €6m is a steal and it will almost certainly pay off in the long run. Fernando only has to look at the player he is replacing in the team. Adeyemi has developed into a burgeoning star with a stellar campaign. Fernando has missed some portion of the ongoing season, given the crisis in Ukraine.
— FC SHAKHTAR ENGLISH (@FCShakhtar_eng) October 16, 2021
However, it will not be long before he is back to match sharpness. Brazil are one of the favourites for the World Cup in Qatar and Fernando could do well to earn a call-up. The Selecao have a lot of superstar talent amongst their ranks and that could mean Fernando needing more time to break through. However, he has never been shy of taking centre-stage.
⚒ Shakhtar players on vacation 🇧🇷 Fernando held a charity event in his hometown in Brazil ⚽ pic.twitter.com/SbpnvzJHZE
— FC SHAKHTAR ENGLISH (@FCShakhtar_eng) June 17, 2019
He had a brilliantly taken goal against Real Madrid in the Champions League group-stages. There will more chances to face the biggest opponents on the European stage. Salzburg made it to the round-of-16 for the first time in their history in 2022. That is the platform to build on, with Fernando a step in the right direction.