Fulham Opinion: Cottagers should make another attempt to sign Cabral
The same report claims that Fulham are looking at an initial loan deal with an option to make the move permanent for a fee of €10million at the end of the 2019-20 season but Sporting Lisbon are unhappy with the terms and conditions put on the table.
The Cottagers are currently under pressure to reduce their wage bill following a season of heavy spending in the Premier League last season, with a number of high-profile players expected to depart Craven Cottage over the next couple of weeks.
Fulham manager Scott Parker, though, has already bagged a couple of big scalps in the summer transfer window, with the likes of Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro coming through the door on season-long loan deals from Brighton and Wolves respectively.
However, it is clear that the Cottagers would need to reshuffle their squad to cover for the anticipated departures before the deadline, meaning that the fans have every reason to expect a busy couple of weeks before the next season in the Championship finally gets underway.
Jovane Cabral joined Sporting CP’s youth ranks in 2014 from Cape Verdean club Gremio Nhagar and made rapid progress up the ladder to feature prominently for the ‘B’ team before being called up to the senior team by Jorge Jesus in 2017.
Cabral largely played for the reserve side in the 2017-18 campaign but he made his first-team debut for the Portuguese heavyweights in a Taca de Portugal fixture.
The promising youngster, however, really came of age the last term and played a more significant role in the first team, contributing with 2 goals and 3 assists in just 6 Primeira Liga starts, whilst also playing a further 12 cameos off the bench.
Essentially a right-winger by trade, Cabral is capable of playing out wide on either flank. The 21-year-old Cape Verdean international is noted for his electric pace, slick passing, quick acceleration, flair and trickery on the ball, whilst also boasting of a deadly eye for picking out key passes in the final third.
Cabral earned rave reviews for his dazzling displays in his breakthrough season at Sporting Lisbon and the youngster proved that he doesn’t necessarily need to play 90 minutes in order to have a telling impact on the game.
The 21-year-old is likely to enjoy more first-team involvement in the Portuguese top-tier next term, although a move to the Championship, preferably to one of the promotion-chasing outfits, could appeal to the player.
To put things into perspective, Jovane Cabral is still quite inexperienced but he looks like a real talent at this stage of his career and it should be an absolute no-brainer for Fulham to snap him up this summer.
A fee of €10million was never going to be enough to tempt Sporting into selling one of their brightest emerging prospects and, in all honesty, that kind of a sum is next to a drop in the ocean these days.
It has become a trend for the clubs to splash out millions on talented youngsters and Fulham certainly have the financial muscle to do better.
As evident from his performances the last term, the 21-year-old is more than capable of making a difference and, while his success in Portugal hardly guarantees the same in the English second-tier, Fulham could be committing a grave mistake by pulling out of the negotiations.
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Cabral is only going to get better with time and the electric winger might as well prove to be an exciting addition to the club’s attacking ranks, which currently consists of Floyd Ayite, Neeskens Kebano, Aboubakar Kamara, Aleksandar Mitrovic and, of course, new signings Knockaert and Cavaleiro.
That said, the Cottagers should make a renewed attempt to bring the talented youngster to Craven Cottage this summer.