In September 2021, through his social networks, Junior Fernandes celebrated his return to Universidad de Chile. The striker returned to defend the team from his love after spending nine years abroad. During that period, the 33-year-old forward played for the Bayer Leverkusen (Germany), Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), Alanyaspor (Turkey), Ittihad (United Arab Emirates) and Basaksehir (Turkey).
“What a great joy to be able to wear this beautiful shirt again. First of all, thanks to all the people who made this possible. After nine years, returning to Universidad de Chile some time ago seemed like a dream, now it is a reality.”, Said the attacker, on his social networks.
The fans were excited about the attacker’s return. In memory was the figure of the striker who helped win the 2012 title, under the leadership of Jorge Sampaoli. He was also in the team that reached the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores during that same year, being eliminated against Boca Juniors.
But the enthusiasm for his arrival quickly turned to frustration. His performance has not been as expected. Even, he has never been able to earn ownership, despite the fact that many fans were excited about the possibility of having him as one of the benchmarks of a team that was already on the decline.
Your numbers? During the 2021 season, the attacker played seven of 13 games in the tournament. He only started four. goals? One. This year, meanwhile, he has recorded 24 games out of a possible 27, with just ten starting appearances, adding three goals. In the Chile Cup, meanwhile, he has participated in five games (four starters) and has celebrated three times.
Today, Junior Fernandes seems to be living his last days at the University of Chile. The Chilean forward ends his contract and, as El Deportivo was able to find out, he is not in the club’s plans for next season. From the footballer’s path, meanwhile, they assure that the player does not rule out playing abroad again. Especially when his wife returned to Croatia a few months ago.
At the time of the evaluation, the player has not met the objectives outlined upon arrival. He has failed to be a benchmark and has even been involved in an indiscipline that cost him a punishment from Santiago Escobar, the student coach of the first semester. “He was at his wife’s birthday. And the next day he did not train, and internally there is a sports issue that I as DT will make a decision and surely Junior will not be in that call. He was not in training. That was clarified with the player, and it is a sporting sanction for this game. In the institution there are rights and duties. He did not train the next day and that is why that sanction comes, ”said the strategist to explain the sanction.
The little that the player has to his credit is that in La Cisterna they already consider him as the footballer of the important moments. This Saturday, against La Serena, he made it 2-1 for the Blues with three minutes remaining and helped the Laity take a giant step in their fight to start from relegation. The fans immediately remembered his score in the crucial game against Unión La Calera last season. The transcendence? He saved the club from further relegation.
Miranda, the technician who directs the U today, made his evaluation regarding the moment the striker is experiencing. “He is a player who has not found the football level that led him to have a great career. But he works every day and it was hard for me to leave him out. He owed me the goal since Monday. Perhaps it is the call to make the important goals in the U ”, he closed.
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