Since Sir Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford, Manchester United’s transfer policy has come under scrutiny, and rightly so. They have spent over £1 billion on some of the Premier League's biggest “flops”, but Bruno Fernandes is a cut above from the rest of the pack.
22 Premier League appearances, 14 goals and 10 assists. February’s Manchester United Player of the month, May’s Premier League Player of the month, June’s Premier League Player of the month, June’s Premier League Goal of the month, Manchester United’s 2020 Player of the season. There are just a handful of the personal accolades Bruno has acquired since joining a majorly depleted United side last January.
Joining in January, fans expected Fernandes to need time to settle in, but they were all proven wrong, as he hit the ground running in his first few games, showcasing his brilliance to the world in the toughest league on the planet.
Playing in the 10 role, the “Portuguese Magnifico” has offered much needed creativity to the starting eleven, with the ability to drop deep and carry the ball forward, as well as his obvious expertise in staying forward and acting as the glue to the attacking setup.
Despite his proven excellence and undeniable brilliance, there are still some Manchester United fan’s out there who do not appreciate what he brings to the team. As a risk-taking advanced midfielder, fans can become frustrated at the amount of times Bruno will lose possession of the ball, yet this risk taking does not come without reason. ‘BF18’ tends to attempt the difficult pass in most situations, in an attempt to unlock games by using his unpredictability to open up defences.
As well as being a fantastic releaser of the ball, Bruno can also act as a man to carry the ball forward. His indefatigable pressing can sometimes cause him to drop deeper than the manager would expect, meaning his energy levels and ball carrying ability become pivotal to helping the team transition into attacking sequences.
His performance against İstanbul Başakşehir is the perfect example of why he is Manchester United’s key man. Scoring 2 goals, and unselfishly giving away the third to Marcus Rashford, he highlighted just how much of a leading figure he is on the pitch for the red devils. As well as scoring twice, Bruno was also sublime in his pressing and off the ball movement, which was instantaneously proven as he was substituted off, with the performance levels seeming to massively drop off as soon as he left the pitch. Not only does this prove that his talent is the key to Manchester United, it also proves that his leadership is decisive to the team, with his in-game man-management helping players to understand what they did both right and wrong in even the biggest of games.
I personally think that Bruno Fernandes would be a much better choice of captain than Harry Maguire, as he has strikingly similar characteristics to that of Roy Keane, through the way he tirelessly presses the ball and lunges into tackles at his own demise to pick his team up and carry them forward.
At the bargainous price of just £49 million, Manchester United have certainly found themselves a world class player, and I can only see him getting better.