Newcastle United legend waxes lyrical over 'horrible' £8 million Fulham star
Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer couldn't help but wax lyrical about the performance of Fulham striker Rodrigo Muniz as the Brazilian spearheaded his side to victory over Bournemouth at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
The 22-year-old has shown promise since arriving in London from Flamengo in 2021 for a fee of around £8 million but has seen his progress at Fulham, and on loan at Middlesbrough, stunted by a knee injury. With Raul Jimenez sidelined, Marco Silva brought in Chelsea forward Armando Broja on loan to ease the burden on Muniz, but the physical striker has stepped up to the plate.
The Fulham man earned comparisons with former Cottagers talisman Aleksandar Mitrovic as he bagged two goals in a dominant performance against the Cherries that had fans purring as they emptied out onto the streets of West London. It wasn't just the Fulham faithful who were left dazzled either, with Premier League record goalscorer Shearer heaping praise on the striker.
Speaking on Match of the Day, Shearer said: "He really was a handful today, horrible to play against. That's always a good thing for a centre-forward.
"He was strong, ran the channels, brought players into the game and really upset Bournemouth defender in every way in everything he was doing. He was willing to run in behind and they get their first goal because of that. It doesn't happen unless he does the running.
"They got balls into the box, he was first to react and understand the situation. He was barging defenders out the way. I really enjoyed his performance today, we haven't seen enough of him but he's got a real opportunity now to stake a claim and stay in there. He's got to produce that every week. They've signed Broja on loan but he's got the opportunity to stay in there if he keeps performing like that."
Muniz has played just over 500 minutes of Premier League football this season but has started four matches since returning from his latest injury in December.
Speaking after the match, Silva said: “I’m really pleased for him and he really deserves it. When you have the chance, you have to step in and pop up and show your quality and it was the moment for Rodrigo to do it.
“This afternoon was probably his best performance in a Fulham shirt and he deserves it because he’s worked really hard. He had a good pre-season followed by a bad injury, but now he’s coming back and he’s fighting for what he wants and he’s showing the desire to play as the Fulham striker. The way he linked our game and played behind the pressure of the midfielders was really good.”