Go for it Bruce – Newcastle signing this £16m star would be a great boost to the backline


Why Newcastle signing Jorge Fernandes would bolster their backline

A report from the Daily Mail back in December claimed that Newcastle United were keeping tabs on Portuguese defender Jorge Fernandes heading into the January transfer window. 

Premier League rivals Southampton and Fulham were also mentioned among the potential suitors for the centre-back, who has been a star for Vitoria de Guimaraes in the Primeira Liga this season. The 23-year-old’s impressive form has seen his price tag rocket to £16m, having joined Vitoria for a meagre £720,000 this past summer. (h/t Daily Mail)


Born in Braga, Jorge Fernandes rose through the youth ranks of FC Porto, making his debut for the club’s reserve side back in 2015. He was loaned out to fellow top-flight outfit FC Tondela in January 2018 to further his development. The centre-back made 37 appearances over 18 months before returning to Porto in the summer of 2019. (h/t Transfermarkt)

Portuguese Cup: Vitria Clube vs Clube Desportivo Santa Clara Guimares, 12/13/2020 – This afternoon Vitria Sport Clube hosted Clube Desportivo Santa Clara, at Estdio D. Afonso Henriques, in a game counting for the round 32 of the 2020/2021 Portuguese Cup. Rafael Ramos Jorge Fernandes Miguel Pereira / Global Imagens PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxHUNxONLY xMiguelxPereirax

The 23-year-old spent the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign on loan at Turkish top-flight outfit Kasimpasa, where he made 22 appearances in all competitions. Fernandes eventually joined Vitoria de Guimaraes on a permanent deal this past summer, having made just a solitary first-team appearance for Porto. (h/t Transfermarkt)

The Portuguese U-21 international has earned rave reviews for his performances in the Liga NOS this term, featuring 15 times in all competitions so far.

Time for a change at the back?

Newcastle United need to reshape their central defensive options with an eye on the future. The Magpies recently tied down Ciaran Clark to a new two-year deal until 2023 but the futures of several other defenders in the squad remain up in the air. 

Jorge Fernandes 44 of Kasimpasa and Patrick Twumasi 27 of Gaziantep FK during the Turkish Super league football match between Kasimpasa and Gaziantep FK at the Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on December 21, 2019. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxTUR

Federico Fernandez and Fabian Schar are both out of contract at the end of the season. Moreover, Fernandez and Clark are both 31 while Schar and Paul Dummett, both 29, are not getting any younger. Hence, with so many ageing legs at the back, the Magpies should be wise enough to line up some younger alternatives in the market.

Newcastle have shipped 34 goals in 21 games in the Premier League so far this term. That should further prompt Steve Bruce to seek reinforcements to shore up his leaky backline. 

Fernandes an ideal option for Newcastle?

Putting things into context, Jorge Fernandes ticks plenty of boxes to come through the door at Newcastle as a promising young centre-back with plenty of room for development.

The 23-year-old has already made more than 100 career appearances, featuring for Porto’s reserve side, Tondela and Vitoria in the Portuguese top-flight, as well as Kasimpasa in Turkey.

Jorge Fernandes to Southampton: Vitoria's transfer stance, £16m fee, Fulham  and Newcastle links - HampshireLive
Jorge Fernandes (Getty Images)

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The Portuguese U-21 star has caught the eye with his potential in his homeland and looks more than capable of making a gradual transition to more competitive surroundings. Fernandes still potentially has his best years ahead of him. Newcastle should, therefore, try to phase him into the mix if they do manage to complete a deal.