Football Tribe SEA Editor
Muangthong United’s Brazilian striker Heberty Fernandes has signed for arch-rivals Port FC on a one-year loan deal, the club announced yesterday.
Heberty is one of the most prolific players to ever grace the Thai League, scoring 116 goals from 169 appearances across spells at Ratchaburi FC and most recently Muangthong United.
Considered the Kirin’s prized asset after finishing last season as the club’s top scorer and the league’s highest assist maker, this is a massive coup for Port who managed to not only strengthen their own team, but also significantly weaken a potentially direct rival in the 2020 Thai League title race.
Rumors claim that Muangthong sanctioned the deal as they could no longer afford Heberty’s wages, which are reported to be around 2 million Baht (or 66,000 dollars) per month. This, coupled with a reported 35 million baht loan fee to be paid over the course of the season, could make the deal financially attractive for a Muangthong side which needs to recoup during a difficult time financially.
Port have long been in search of a viable striker and thought they had found it in Bangkok United’s Dragan Boskovic, who they signed in similar circumstances ahead of the 2018 season when he had scored 38 goals in 33 games the season prior. However, the Montenegrin superstar was never able to recreate that same form at the PAT Stadium, and his replacements Rolando Blackburn and Josimar Rodriguez also struggled last season.
Heberty is expected to slot in alongside Port’s already established contingent of foreign players, which currently includes David Rochela, Sergio Suarez, Go Suel-Ki and ASEAN quota player Martin Steuble.
Along with Heberty, Port also announced the capture of six local players – Tanasith Sriphala (Suphanburi), Tanakorn Dangthong (Army United), Kanarin Thawornsak and Nattawut Sombatyotha (Ratchaburi), and Jaturapat Sattham and Chatmongkol Thongkiri (Chainat).