After another masterclass, this time against Brighton, Bruno Fernandes has proven to be one of the best buys by United in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era. With only 8 league appearances to his name, Fernandes has taken United from a stagnant, slow attacking unit, to a team that looks like a top-four team.
It was obvious from his time in Portugal that Bruno Fernandes had all the skills to succeed at a higher level. His 8 goals and 7 assists in 17 games in Liga NOS this season were testament to his talent. But the 25-year-old’s impact wasn’t expected to be so great so soon.
The impact of COVID-19 has given him a few more weeks of training with his new teammates. The return of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford has helped turn United’s front six into one of the most threatening in the league.
With a hat-trick from Anthony Martial against Sheffield United, Mason Greenwood’s opener against Brighton, and Fernandes brace, United now have multiple players who can score. When you add in the obvious firepower of Marcus Rashford, Daniel James from wide and Paul Pogba from the middle of the park, it’s a scary lineup when it’s purring.
Bruno Fernandes has United purring
And since Bruno Fernandes has arrived it has purred like it hasn’t in many years.
In the seven league games Fernandes has started, United have score 2+ goals in five and they have only conceded once, away to Everton. With 14 goals in seven league games with Fernandes, United have become much more threatening going forward. In the 25 games before his arrival there were just 37 goals.
The ability to dictate the play and control games makes a massive difference at the back as well. With one goal conceded in seven games, the improvement on the 30 goals conceded in the other 25 games is incredible. Fernandes has slotted into this shirt like it was his destiny.
His own stats are bordering on the ridiculous, with 5 goals on 30 shots, 3 assists, and a pass completion percentage of 75.3%. He is already the team’s fourth top scorer in the league this season, behind Marcus Rashford (14), Anthony Martial (14), and Mason Greenwood (6).
And he ranks joint fourth in assists per whoscored. In just eight appearances.
With a full summer to gel with his teammates, and acclimate himself to England, expect an even better performance next season. A few squad additions are also likely to improve the supporting cast further. For the first time in a while, the future looks very bright for the red half of Manchester.
They can now keep the ball better, use spaces better, and make more clinical and dangerous runs. One player has changed the whole outlook for United by pulling all of the pieces together and orchestrated the individual pieces into a coherent whole.
And that player is Bruno Fernandes.