According to The Telegraph’s Mike McGrath, Gedson Fernandes is in danger of missing out on Tottenham’s Europa League squad.
What’s the word?
Having successfully navigated past the three qualifying rounds, Spurs finally enter the group stages of the competition, and will be facing LASK, Antwerp and Ludogorets respectively.
But with there being a fixed quota on the number of non-homegrown players who can be allowed in a squad (17), McGrath has revealed that there is a major question mark on Fernandes.
The Portuguese talent has hardly featured at all this season for Jose Mourinho’s side, playing just 63 minutes of football – and even that came in the Carabao Cup clash against Chelsea.
Mistake from Mourinho
Whilst it’s absolutely understandable why Fernandes’ name is near the top of the conversation when it comes to potential players who could be left out of the Europa League squad, it would be a major mistake from Mourinho to do so.
The 21-year-old is as versatile as they come, and it was telling that even despite only joining in the January transfer window, and being young and inexperienced in English football, Mourinho used him in five different positions last season: central midfield, attacking midfield, on the left and right flanks, and even at right-back too.
That ability to perform in a number of different roles is like star-dust, particularly in European competitions. The Thursday-Sunday combination of fixture scheduling for Spurs is likely to take its toll, and there will be no way Mourinho pushes his first-team stars too hard for both games.
But having someone like Fernandes, who can operate across midfield and even as a full-back, saves him a massive headache. Whether it’s an injury, or a key player need resting, he can trust in the starlet to come in and do a job.
So whilst he may be Spurs’ forgotten man for the time being given his lack of game-time this season, Mourinho desperately needs to select Fernandes for his Europa League squad, or he risks it back-firing.
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