Fulham eyeing Ruben Vinagre as Pellegrini alternative

Viraj Nerurkar
By Viraj Nerurkar
4 Min Read

Fulham have been linked with yet another player this summer, as their list of potential signings keeps on growing. We are almost a month into the transfer window, and so far the Cottagers have been linked with a plethora of players although they have officially announced only one in Joao Palhinha.

The newest name to be linked to the Londoners is that of young defender Ruben Vinagre. The Portuguese left-back was on loan to Sporting CP for the 2021/22 season from Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers, and the Portuguese giants have announced his permanent signing for around £8 million. However, in a peculiar turn of events, Vinagre’s name has been put up on the ‘to loan’ list, and it seems just days after making the move to Portugal, the 23-year-old is set to leave the club for the season.

Sporting CP triggered the buy option for the left-back in a rather odd move after the former Wolves man struggled to impress in his debut season in the Primeira Liga. He made just 18 appearances, playing under 900 minutes in the 2021-22 season. Vinagre was unable to establish himself in the team, and hence manager Ruben Amorim has put him on loan list to get some valuable experience.

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It is music to Fulham’s ears, who have discussed his name as a cheap alternative to their main target Juventus’ Luca Pellegrini. The fee for Pellegrini could prove to be an obstacle, and the Cottagers are considering going after Vinagre instead. The Portuguese left-back comes with an added bonus of Premier League experience, having played in England’s top flight with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Fulham manager Marco Silva is in desperate need of some squad member with experience of playing in the Premier League, and Vinagre could bring just that, having played over 1500 minutes in the league for Wolves. The 23-year-old defender has shown his talent on the left flank, and a loan signing would make sense considering Silva’s priorities of upgrading other departments of the team.

Vinagre is very flamboyant with the ball, comfortable playing long passes or dribbling past an opponent, showcasing his various skills. He is a very good crosser of the ball, and with Aleksandr Mitrovic leading the line for Fulham, the Cottagers could use his crosses into the box.

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There are very limited links on Vinagre’s move to Fulham as of now, but sources inside Sporting CP have confirmed that the Portuguese fullback is indeed set to head out on loan this season. Alongside Fulham, fellow Premier League newcomers Nottingham Forest are also interested in signing Ruben Vinagre, with manager Steve Cooper believing the 23-year-old would be a good fit for the wing-back role, a position he played at Wolves.

Vinagre has received high praise wherever he has played till now, with former manager Nuno Espirito Santo describing him as a ‘special player’ and a very versatile one. The left-back has the ability to plug a few holes in the Fulham side and can play a very crucial role as the Cottagers embark on their mission to avoid another relegation in their very first season in the Premier League. There have been very little talks between the club, but it remains to see if Vinagre will follow Joao Palhinha and take the route from Lisbon to London this summer.

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