Arsenal and Tottenham £21.5m summer target still hasn't played 90 minutes for new club

Donbass Arena Shakhtar

Liverpool were also interested in Brazilian midfielder Bernard this summer, but he played just one minute against Manchester United last night ...

This summer many a player was involved in the odd transfer tussle - with an abundance of clubs chasing their signatures and one such player was Bernard.

The diminutive midfielder shone for Brazil at the Confederations Cup, and also starred for Atletico Mineiro in their run to the Copa Libertadores trophy, so it was always likely that tons of teams were going to be interested in a player dubbed ‘Neymarinho’.

The attacking midfielder was at one point linked with three separate Premier League sides. Tottenham Hotspur were first, as they targeted him as a replacement for Gareth Bale. Liverpool were also keen, after losing out on Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Shakhtar Donetsk. Arsenal were also linked, it was even falsely reported that the player was to undergo a medical at the club after he posted a picture of himself arriving in London on Twitter. Instead he was on a connecting flight to go and talk to Shakhtar about a move.

FC Porto and Borussia Dortmund were also keen but he chose Ukraine, despite fears it could affect his chances of getting in the Brazil squad for a home World Cup. But after receiving assurances from former Chelsea boss and current Selecao head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari that it would not affect his chances of selection for the national side the thumbs were up.

So the deal went through, for a whopping fee of £21.5 million!

So why didn’t he play a more prominent role against Manchester United in the Champions League last night.

Bernard featured quite literally for about a minute at the Donbass Arena, leaving me for one a little stunned.

So far the young lad has not played a single 90 minutes for the club he joined ahead of the Premier League trio this summer.

So far Douglas Costa, Taison and Alex Teixeira have continued to play in the three positions behind the main striker Luiz Adriano - while Bernard sits on the bench getting cold in the chilly Ukrainian autumn.

It could be the coach Mircea Lucescu is simply biding his time before bringing him into the first team, letting him settle into a new culture and get to know his team-mates.

But for £21.5 million, he might not want to wait much longer…

image: © jbl767

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