HE is sort of a Neymar lookalike, and teammates are building him up as a Neymar playalike.
Levi Gilmar di Silva Fernandez, Stallion FC’s highly touted recruit, was formally presented by the squad on Tuesday, and the team is eager to see action with the Filipino-Jamaican from Scotland.
“Si Levi siguro ka-style si Neymar kasi yung footwork,” Stallions skipper Reuben Doctora, who has been practicing with Fernandez for days now, said, drawing chuckles from the press.
He insisted he wasn't joking when he made the comparison with the Brazil star, saying, “totoo ’yan.”
Stallions coach Ernie Nierras unveiled Fernandez along with the team’s other additions in the current United Football League transfer window on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old midfielder is on loan from Scottish Championship side Alloa FC until the end of June and is expected to boost the Stallions in their bid to reclaim the league title they last won two years ago.
“Levi gives us another dimension because of his technical skills,” said Nierras, his team running second in the 10-team Division 1 standings at the end of the first round.
“Hopefully for the remainder of the season, we’ll be able to improve our status and see how competitive we can become.”
The England-born, Filipino-Jamaican Fernandez, whose grandmother Concepcion hails from Laguna, also hopes to earn a look from the national team.
“I hope to do well in the league and hopefully get a call-up for the Azkals,” the lanky, soft-spoken booter said.
Stallion and Azkals defender Simone Rota is still waiting for Fernandez’s first official match with the team before making his judgment.
“But I’m sure he’s a great player,” Rota said. “So he just has to start to play good with our team and I think that step by step, for the national team.”
Nathan Alquiros and Matthew Nierras, the head coach’s son, are back with the team after their duties with La Salle in the UAAP, while fellow Green Archers Nico Villasin, Jojo Borromeo, and Sabin Bustamante have also joined the Stallions.
On the other hand, Nigerian midfielder Alu Kigbu and Filipino winger OJ Clariño have been loaned to Socceroo and Global FC, respectively.