One of Vital Pompey`s members brought this to my attention (Pompey Junglist). These comments come from Jose Mourinho regarding Pompey target Fernandes in March 2005.
Apparently Chelsea where interested in the player and it was Mourinho that dubbed him the next Makelele.
‘Even though his conversion to central midfield was relatively recent, I do not think that, at 19, Makelele was a better player than Manuel Fernandes,’ said Mourinho.
‘From my vantage point, this kid looks calm, wise, sensible and, according to Tiago, deserves all the luck, because he is a nice person.
‘I follow him very carefully. He is very strong defensively, and suited to pressurising teams in their own half.
‘Without being tall, he seems to be sufficiently agile to compete in the air. His passing is accurate, he takes good positions near the opposition’s box and has a powerful shot.’
Let’s Get Him Pompey!