Scout Report – Rui Fonte
Fulham are still chasing a striker and may well have given up on self-important Diego Rolan, quite rightly in my view. They have however been told to stump up £9million for Braga man Rui Fonte, who is the latest subject of their overtures and here is what we know about the Portuguese forward to date.
Born in Penafiel, Portugal, Fonte started his youth football career back in 1998 at Sacavenense before being picked up by Sporting Lisbon.
An impressive 7 years with the Portuguese giants brought him to the attention of English Premier League side Arsenal, where he landed in 2006, though he never managed a first team appearance. He was given 10 first team games by Crystal Palace though while on loan, without scoring a goal.
Having returned to Portugal with Sporting, he was sent out on loan once again, this time to Vitoria Setubal but once more, he did not score and failed to truly establish himself. He had more success in Spain with Espanyol’s B team, netting 8 times in 22 games but he could not replicate that in their first team as he yet again drew a blank in an 11-game spell in 2010/11.
Two years spent at the Catalan club resulted in just one goal in the league before a free transfer back to Portugal beckoned, with Fonte signing for Benfica and joining up with their B team.
Although still a slow-burner, things are going much better now and Fonte finally planted his flag last term playing for Braga, scoring 14 goals in 31 domestic games for the club and seeing his transfer value suddenly sky rocket.
Style Of Play
Fonte is tall and rangy but does not always need to play in an out-and-out number nine position. He can play just as comfortably as a second striker but now that he has found his goal touch it would be no surprise to see him want to play as a centre-forward more often.
A decent finisher, Fonte has now matured and does not need so many chances to score a goal, though Fulham’s open, attacking style would suit him down to the ground.
He is 27 now and doesn’t have more than four or five years of top class football ahead of him, though he is one who can take advantage, now that he has finally matured into a rounded footballer. A big money move is surely there for him. If that move is to Fulham, he would probably jump at the chance to go.