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Jorge has Gatt it all, says Blackburn Rovers boss
STEVE Kean says Paulo Jorge reminds him of Italian World Cup winner Gennaro Gattuso after the midfielder and fellow Portuguese teenager Edinho Junior last night completed their moves to Blackburn Rovers.
The duo yesterday underwent medicals and put pen to paper on three-year contacts at Ewood Park after impressing on Saturday in Rovers’ friendly games against Fleetwood Town and Accrington.
Striker Edinho Junior, 18, appeared as a substitute in both matches and joins Rovers from Portuguese top flight side Olhanense after the clubs agreed a fee.
Jorge played for Porto’s under 19s side last season and has come through the youth ranks both with his club and with the Portuguese national team.
The 18-year-old started Rovers’ friendly against Fleetwood and Kean feels he bears similarities both in appearance and style to Gattuso, the former AC Milan and Rangers midfielder who was part of Italy’s World Cup winning team in 2006.
“He doesn’t look his age, he looks much older and shows a maturity beyond his years,” said the Rovers boss. “He is like a young Gattuso.”
Jorge and Edinho Junior will become Rovers’ third and fourth Portuguese signings of the summer after Fabio Nunes and experienced striker Nuno Gomes.
Despite their tender age Kean regards both as having the ability to come into first-team contention this season, rather than merely players for the future.
The Scot has been eager to bring in young talent since he took over as Rovers boss and believes Edinho Junior is another with the potential to impress.
“He’s got a vast amount of talent,” Kean said.
“We’ve known about him for a while.
“You can’t have too many good young ones.”
Southampton were yesterday being linked with a move for Scott Dann, but the Lancashire Telegraph understands that Rovers have heard nothing from the south coast club.
And they remain adamant that the 25-year-old, who moved to Ewood from Birmingham City last summer, is not for sale.
Dann appeared for Rovers against Fleetwood on Saturday but has now suffered relegation in two consecutive seasons, having originally signed for Blackburn to stay in the Premier League.
Rovers are eager to keep their current squad together as they bid to return to the top flight at the first attempt.
They are back in friendly action at Rochdale tomorrow night, when they will face central defender Ryan Edwards – the captain of the Rovers team that reached the final of the FA Youth Cup last season.
The highly-rated Edwards is currently on loan at Rochdale in a bid to gain first-team experience.