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Fabrice is megastar of the future

last updated Friday 03rd November 2000, 8:51 PM
Fulham will unleash the young French star rated as good as Thierry Henry on rock-bottom Huddersfield on Saturday.

French U-23 international midfielder Fabrice Fernandes was a virtual unknown when he joined Fulham on a season-long loan from Rennes last summer.

Fabrice Fernandes
Fabrice Fernandes megastar of the future
But his performances under Jean Tigana have been so impressive he has eclipsed his better-known midfield sidekicks John Collins and Lee Clark.

Tigana's assistant Christian Damiano, the coaching guru who produced Henry and Nicolas Anelka during his spell at the French School of Excellence at Clairefontaine, rates Fernandes just as highly.

Damiano said: "Maybe it is a surprise to Fulham fans and to English football what a good player he is but it is not a surprise to me because Fabrice was also at Clairefontaine and I knew what he could do.

"At the moment he is not as big a name as Thierry Henry or Anelka but that is not because he has less talent. People are going to know a lot about him."

Fulham will have to pay £4.5million to sign 21-year-old Fernandes on a permanent basis.

Damiano added: "It is a lot of money but he has been doing so well so far. We are not in a hurry to complete the transfer because he cannot go anywhere else this season. But if we are in the Premier League he is the type of player we will need."

Fernandes was left on the bench for the midweek Worthington Cup win over Wolves but will return to face Huddersfield, under newly-confirmed boss Lou Macari's, at Craven Cottage.

"We wanted to give him a rest," said Damiano. "But he ended up coming on and helping us win the game anyway. But he should be fresh for the league again."

Source skysport
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