Gedson Fernandes is thrilled at the prospect of working under Jose Mourinho following his “dream” move to Tottenham.
The 21-year-old midfielder has signed on an 18-month loan deal from Benfica which has the option to become permanent for a reported £56million.
Fernandes becomes the club’s first signing of the Mourinho era and will provide vital cover in the middle of the park following a three-month lay-off for Moussa Sissoko, who has had knee surgery.
Getting to be coached by his compatriot – one of the most decorated managers in the game – was a big pull for the youngster.
“I know the coach because he is a big coach,” Fernandes said. “As a young player I want to work with him because he is one of the best and all of us want to stay near the best. He is fantastic.
“I am very happy. It is one big dream is to play for this big club.
“I will try to give my best for the club every day, every training, every game, every shift. Every day try to be the best.”
Fernandes was offered to Spurs by Mourinho’s friend and super agent Jorges Mendes and they beat off competition from West Ham, who were keen on being the ones to bring him to London.
Aged only 21, it will be viewed as more of a signing for the future, but the Portuguese will at least add extra bodies to a squad which has been hit by injuries.
Fernandes has won two caps for Portugal and is a box-to-box midfielder in the ilk of Sissoko.
His parents live in the Tottenham area and he was recently spotted at his new club’s home game with Chelsea before Christmas.
He said of his parents’ situation: “It’s a hard story because my family came to London because in Portugal working is very hard and it is difficult to find work.
“They have a good life, this is one more motivation to be here today and the rest of my life.”
Mourinho will be hoping more arrivals may follow, particularly a striker following Harry Kane’s potentially season-ending hamstring injury.
The club are understood to be interested in AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek while Christian Benteke, Edison Cavani and even former striker Fernando Llorente have been linked.
There could also be outgoings at Spurs this month, with Kyle Walker-Peters hoping to join Crystal Palace on loan while the club are trying to offload Christian Eriksen this month in order to get a fee for him.
The Denmark international is out of contract in the summer and can leave on a free, having told Spurs he will not be agreeing a fresh deal.
A move to Inter Milan appears likely after reports from Italy suggested he has agreed terms and Mourinho said after the midfielder played 90 minutes in Tuesday night’s FA Cup replay win over Middlesbrough that he should leave with his head held high.