MOURINHO MAKES FIRST SPURS SIGNING

Jose Mourinho has made his first signing at Tottenham as Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes has joined on an 18-month loan deal.

Spurs moved to sign the 21-year-old ahead of West Ham after he fell out of favour at Benfica. West Ham had been hopeful of landing Fernandes until late last week but super-agent Jorge Mendes then offered him to Spurs. 

Sportsmail reported on Tuesday that Tottenham had agreed a long-term loan deal that includes an option to buy the Portugal international for £56million. 

On making the move to north London, Fernandes said: ‘I’m very happy to be here today – I make my dream a reality.

‘For me, it’s one big dream to come to this big club. I will try to give my best for the club every day, in every training session and in every game and I will try to help the team wherever I can, working hard every day for this shirt.

‘The Premier League is a different competition – every player in the world wants to play in the Premier League. 

For me, it’s one more motivation because I always dreamed of playing in this league and now let’s make my dream come true. I think we’re going to do fantastic things because this is a fantastic club.’ 

Mourinho had been looking to bolster his Spurs side this month due to mounting injury problems in the first-team squad. 

Tottenham lost midfielder Moussa Sissoko to a serious knee injury earlier this month while Tanguy Ndombele’s fitness is inconsistent.

Midfielders Eric Dier and Harry Winks have also suffered occasional setbacks.

As well as injuries in the midfield areas, Christian Eriksen’s future at the club remains uncertain.  

Mourinho is also without star striker Harry Kane until April after having surgery to repair a ruptured tendon in his left hamstring. 

Fernandes, who will wear the No 30 shirt for the remainder of the season, had fallen out of favour with Benfica head coach Bruno Lage this season.

When asked who he looked up to in football, the Portugal international said: ‘Cristiano [Ronaldo]. Because he’s a Portuguese player and he breaks all the records. 

‘He tries to win day by day so I will have to try and do the same thing.

‘I know the squad because I’ve watched some games, I have some references like Moussa Sissoko, I know a little bit about Eric Dier because he played in Portugal and I know the coach (Jose Mourinho) because he’s a big coach and young players want to play with him because he’s one of the best.

‘I know about the staff (Assistant Head Coach Joao Sacramento and Goalkeeper Coach Nuno Santos) a little bit as well because one of my friends last year played at (their former club) Lille, so he spoke with me a little bit about the staff. 

Fernandes’ debut could come as early as this weekend – he is likely to be in the squad when Tottenham travel to play Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.  

After coming through Benfica’s youth system, Fernandes made his debut at the age of 18 in 2017. 

He played 53 appearances in total for Benfica and was part of the squad which won the Primeira Liga – Portugal’s premier division- last season. 

Fernandes has also been capped twice for Portugal, making his debut in September 2018. 

He will be reunited with his family in London as they already live in the capital.

‘It’s a hard story. My family, they came to London because in Portugal, work is very hard and it’s very difficult to find work,’ he said.

‘They did not have a brilliant life but they have a good life here and this is one more motivation for me to be here today. Yes, they will help me to settle here.’