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Transfer Profile: Gerso Fernandes

After the additions of Oskar Zawada from Raków Częstochowa and Islom Kenzhaboev from Nasaf Qarshi FC, Jeju United added a third foreign signing with Gerso Fernandes becoming the latest player to join last year's K League 2 champions.  The native of Guinea-Bissau and former star of MLS side Sporting Kansas City FC is a welcome arrival as the islanders look to make a splash in their return to the first division in 2021.  KLU's Branko Belan profiles the newest signing for the club.
(Photo courtesy of Jeju United)

Fernandes arrives on the island with the intention of making a valuable contribution to Jeju's push to re-establish themselves as a team to watch out for in the first division in 2021.  Primarily a left winger, his pace can be a factor in upsetting opposing back lines with his penetrating runs in creating goal scoring opportunities for the players around him.  He is a player with vast experience whose senior career began back in the 2010-11 season in Portugal.  He will be one to watch for as Nam Ki-il's men venture into a new campaign in the top flight after just one season in K League 2.

Early Career

He made his senior debut with G.D. Tourizense in Portugal's third division after joining Académica de Coimbra's junior side.  That would earn him a move to  G.D. Estoril Praia, where he made twenty appearances for the club as they were promoted to the Portuguese top flight in 2011 for the first time in seven years.  That was followed by stops with Moreirenses and Belenenses prior to his move to MLS with Sporting Kansas City in 2017.

Sporting Kansas City FC

His time in MLS would prove a turning point in his career as he made over one hundred appearances for the club from 2017 until he left the club at the conclusion of last season.  His maiden campaign in North America's top league serves notice as he recorded eight goals and a pair of assists, which included his first career hat-trick against the Seattle Sounders.  He also contributed two goals and an assist in the U.S. Open Cup that year as the club went on to defeat the New York Red Bulls in the final by a count of 2-1.

Fernandes will be a welcome addition to the islanders for the 2021 campaign. Photo courtesy of Sporting Kansas City FC.
The following season saw him notch five goals and five assists in league play while adding a goal in the MLS playoffs but his most impressive contribution would be his four goals and one assist in the 2018-19 CONCACAF Champions League including a strong personal performance in the semi-final home leg against Mexican side Monterrey where he found the net twice although the MLS side bowed out just ahead of the final.  In the 2019-20 season, he would add six goals and twelve assists across all competitions, further proving his talent and effectiveness on the attacking end.  He was offered a contract to remain with the club but ultimately chose to chart his career on another course.

Coming to Jeju

Fernandes, looking for an entirely new challenge, decided to make the jump to the K League to join Jeju ahead of the new season.  He has the momentum of playing well over the past several years and that momentum should carry him forward in becoming a vital part of the islanders' squad as they prepare for the new season.

He should fit quite well into Nam Ki-il's concept of football as a player who will be a threat going forward.  He will be an asset not only in terms of ball distribution but also a factor in the final third, something which the manager was quick to recognize as the reason for bringing him to the club.

Fernandes knows it is a new challenge, but he is ready to make his presence felt.

"It is not an easy challenge, but I will do everything in my ability to prove why Jeju brought me to the club.  I heard that defenders in the K League are quite strong, but that is an even greater motivation for me.  It is something that I will work hard to overcome and I will do everything to help the team get results," he said.





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