Opinion: Borussia Dortmund should consider André as a replacement for Jude Bellingham

(Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)
(Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images) /
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André (L) in action for Fluminense
André (L) in action for Fluminense. (Photo by Gledston Tavares/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Who is André?

André Trindade da Costa Neto, 21 years old, soon to be 22, is a midfielder who plays for the Rio de Janeiro-based Fluminense FC. Previously mentioned in our list of Brazilian wonderkids Borussia Dortmund should keep their tabs on, André could be a cheap and exciting option to take over Bellingham’s place and make a difference in midfield.

André began his junior career at E.C. Bahia, located in northeast Brazil. There, he was an attacking player and scored many goals, which caught the attention of Fluminense scouts, who brought him to Rio in 2013.

At the beginning of his journey in Rio, the youngster struggled to find a place in the team. But one year later, a new coaching staff decided to switch his position to midfield. He thrived in his new role, playing in a variety of different midfield roles and becoming a star and captain of the so-called “Golden Generation” of Fluminense’s youth team.

André made his first-team debut in 2020 during a Copa do Brasil match against Atlético Goianiense. The following year, he had difficulty getting into the team again. But an injury crisis gave him a lifeline. Step by step, André began to show his attributes and talent in the first-team.

He scored his first professional goal in a 1-0 win against Fluminense’s biggest rival, Flamengo, and went on to earn a starting role in the team later that year. His excellent development saw him nominated as the most promising player of the Brasileirão 2021.

In 2022, André helped Fluminense beat Flamengo in the Campeonato Carioca final, winning the trophy after a 10-year drought against one of the best teams in Brazil in recent years. With the support of promising manager Fernando Diniz, he made a statement during the Campeonato Brasileiro that same year. The young star led statistics in successful short passes (92%) and long passes (78%), to go along with a 73% successful dribble rate. All that helped him earn a place in the Brasileirão Team of the Season, and he also received his first call-up to the National Team.

This season, André has continued to be an unquestionable starter for Fluminense, a key component of the back-to-back Campeonato Carioca state titles, once again with a win against Flamengo.