When the Brazilian media claimed Fulham are leading the race for Fluminense star André, it was quite interesting to see the Whites being so seriously involved in this race.
The midfielder had been linked with a big move to Europe since the summer, and the Craven Cottage side seemed to show up all of a sudden to take the lead for him.
André has been drawing big attention from top leagues after showing his potential at Fluminense for a couple of years now. He came from the club’s academy and became one of the main stars in their campaign to win their first Copa Libertadores this year. His form is the reason why, earlier this year, he made his debut for the Brazilian national team, where he has two caps so far.
The 22-year-old is a complete midfielder who’s been of big help in Fluminense’s defence, and especially in the first phase of creation.
Regarding his defensive duties, he’s a fast player who can often arrive as a surprise to help with a tackle or interception before the centre-backs are under real threat.
In attack, manager Fernando Diniz uses a scheme which very much relies on ball possession starting from the defensive sector.
That means that once the ball gets to him, many teams will be putting high pressure on already, and what he does very well is to find solutions for the Tricolor to keep the ball. Whether that be with dribbling, short passes or long and accurate passes. His quick thinking in those situations may be his biggest quality.
Now, if you ask what could harm his chances in English football, one of his best characteristics could also be a problem in the Premier League.
That’s because André is a light player, and even though that helps his acceleration and speed, that may be an issue once he starts facing the physicality shown by midfielders in England. Brazilians often struggle with that, and recent reports said his physical situation is one of the reasons Liverpool gave up on him.
In the 2022 season, he was elected the best defensive midfielder in the league. With Fluminense staying more focused on the Copa Libertadores this season, he probably won’t get the same prize this year, but every player would swap that individual award for a continental trophy any day of the week.
Marco Silva has been using many solutions for Fulham’s midfield this season, but we’d say he’d compete for a place with Harrison Reed and Pepe Mata Saar, besides being a potential replacement for João Palhinha in case the Portuguese player leaves.
André is one of the Fluminense players who had a promise from club president Mario Bittencourt that he could leave at the end of the year, following their Copa Libertadores campaign. The summer window in Europe makes it quite complicated for Brazilian clubs to negotiate at that time, since that’s the middle of the South American season.
That’s why those negotiations are often delayed until December, ahead of the January window.
We’re still to see whether it’s Fulham who’ll win the battle for his signing, but it’s nearly certain that André will soon be in Europe. Other clubs such as Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham have also reportedly scouted him in the Libertadores final, and more offers should arrive soon.