5.9k Share this
Red Bull Salzburg has signed Brazilian forward Fernando. The 23-year-old will join the Austrian Bundesliga side from Shakhtar Donetsk this upcoming summer in a deal worth $6.6 million and has signed a contract until 2027. The transfer is significant; Fernando is the player who will replace German national team striker Karim Adeyemi.
Adeyemi will very likely join Borussia Dortmund this upcoming summer. The Black and Yellows had agreed on terms with the 20-year-old some time ago, but negotiations with Salzburg were complex. Early this week, the two sides achieved a significant breakthrough, and Adeyemi is expected to join Dortmund for $38.5 million, a fee that exactly matches his market value.
The Fernando transfer is undoubtedly the final indication that Salzburg is planning without the German national team forward. Dortmund, in the meantime, fought off a late charge by Bayern; the Rekordmeister had identified Adeyemi as a potential Serge Gnabry replacement.
“We have known Fernando for a long time and have been following his career intensively for three years,” RB Salzburg sporting director Christoph Freund said in a club statement. “The way he plays football is a perfect match for our philosophy, as he offers a lot of aggression and tempo. He has also proved himself by playing and scoring at the highest level in the Champions League.”
Fernando scored two goals in five Champions League games for Shakhtar this season. The 23-year-old also managed five goals and two assists in just seven Ukrainian Premier PINC Liga games before the season was shut down following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
MORE FOR YOU
Without Putin’s aggression towards Ukraine, Fernando would have likely stayed at Shakhtar for a few more seasons. The club, which has been exiled from the Donbas since 2013, has an excellent scouting network in Brazil and a proven track record when it comes to developing young Brazilian talent.
But instead of a lengthy spell at Shakhtar and a record sale further down the road, Fernando is headed to Salzburg, a club equally well-equipped for developing talent. And there is no doubt that Fernando has the potential to become a star and replace Adeyemi.
A quick look at Wyscout highlights some significant similarities between the players—with the caveat that Fernando has seen limited playing time because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Fernando actually leads when it comes to goals per 90 minutes this season (0.81 vs 0.68) but is a bit weaker in dribbles (4.84 vs 7.56 per 90 minutes).
The two players are very similar when it comes to stats, like shots on goal and touches in the box. This fact highlights that Salzburg very much believes that the Brazilian can fill the void left by Adeyemi.
Not that that would be any surprise, the Austrians know how to compensate for the departures of top players; Adeyemi, after all, is only one of many on a long list of players who have moved on. Fernando’s arrival is another strong indication that the German is now headed to Dortmund. One day, the Brazilian will likely also join that list and move on to a top European club.
Manuel Veth is the host of the Bundesliga Gegenpressing Podcast and the Area Manager USA at Transfermarkt. He has also been published in the Guardian, Newsweek, Howler, Pro Soccer USA, and several other outlets. Follow him on Twitter: @ManuelVeth