Fulham join Leeds in the race for 20-year-old Portuguese sensation – A bargain move to add depth?

Florentino Luis helped Benfica lift the Portuguese Super Cup last season (Image credit: Google)
Florentino Luis helped Benfica lift the Portuguese Super Cup last season (Image credit: Google)

Why Fulham signing Florentino Luis would bolster their squad

According to the Daily Mail, Fulham have entered the race to sign Benfica midfielder Florentino Luis, who is available on loan for a fee of £2.5m.

However, the newly-promoted Premier League outfit will face competition from fellow newcomers Leeds United in the race to sign the 20-year-old. (h/t Daily Mail)

Profile

Born in Portugal, Florentino Luis started out at Real SC Formacao, before making the switch to the Benfica academy in 2010. The defensive midfielder has enjoyed steady progress through the youth ranks and went on to make 69 appearances for the B team.

In February last year, the midfielder made his senior debut for Benfica at the age of 19. Luis enjoyed more regular game time in the recently concluded season. Till date, he has racked up 32 first-team appearances for Benfica, scoring and assisting one goal apiece.

Florentino Luis made his breakthrough in the 2018-19 season (Getty Images)
Florentino Luis made his breakthrough in the 2018-19 season (Getty Images)

Fulham’s midfield in need of bolstering

Scott Parker’s men are back in the top-flight after defeating fellow London club Brentford in the EFL Championship playoffs. But for the Cottagers to avoid a similar fate like 2018/19, when they ended up getting the drop soon after promotion, the manager will need to strengthen his squad across the pitch.

Defensive midfield area is one where Fulham have sparse options. Parker had relied on Harrison Reed this past season but he is back at Southampton after his loan deal ran out. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa has returned from a successful loan stint at Villarreal but the La Liga giants are keen on signing him back.

Fulham manager Scott Parker on the touchline (Getty Images)
Fulham manager Scott Parker on the touchline (Getty Images)

This would leave the Cottagers with just Kevin McDonald, who is 31 years old and entering the final phase of his career, as the only out-and-out defensive midfielder within the ranks.

Thus, Fulham must bring in a new No.6 ahead of the new season, making Benfica’s Florentino Luis a viable option. While he may not have a great deal of experience at the top level, the 20-year-old has demonstrated immense potential, making 18 appearances in all competitions in the 2019/20 season.

Manchester City and Manchester United have both expressed an interest in the 20-year-old in the past. This should provide an indication of the promise that the Benfica starlet has shown in his nascent career. His signing would add depth to the Fulham midfield unit as they prepare for life in the Premier League.

Florentino Luis has been linked with Manchester City and Manchester United in the past (Getty Images)
Florentino Luis has been linked with Manchester City and Manchester United in the past (Getty Images)

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Verdict

Fulham are in desperate need of strengthening their defensive midfield department that is thin. Signing someone like Luis on loan would provide them with added depth, while also increasing healthy competition within the squad.

Written by Raghav Goudar

Tom Davies (Getty Images)

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