Bruno Fernandes’ transfer to Manchester United was long in the making. For 18 long months, Fernandes’ Manchester United transfer saga raged on until the club finally signed him in January. The midfielder joined the Red Devils for £62 million from Sporting Lisbon with a lot of expectations on his shoulders. After just four games with Manchester United, it looks like Fernandes was money well spent by the club.
The Portuguese star scored from the penalty spot to open the scoring on Thursday night in the Europa League for Manchester United. The Red Devils won 4-0 against Club Brugge to win their Europa League last 32 tie 5-1 on aggregate and help the side into the next round.
Bruno Fernandes’ brilliant passing stats
Ole Gunner Solskjaer took Fernandes off after 65 minutes to rest him for the games to come. However, before taking off the midfielder, Fernandes tallied three shots on target, 75 touches, a 72% pass success rate, three key passes, and two tackles, according to WhoScored.com.
Fernandes has made the impact that the club had hoped for when he signed in January. Had Fernandes struggled, it would have heaped even more pressure on Solskjaer. Much of the pressure that was on Solskjaer pre-Fernandes seems to have dissipated once more. The Red Devils’ hot and cold form under Solskjaer tends to see the pressure ebb and flow. Right now, Manchester United have no reason to sack Solskjaer in the offseason.
Bruno Fernandes’ keys to Manchester United’s midfield
The midfielder has been a big part of that pressure easing on the manager. Fernandes has one goal and two assists in three Premier League games. The Red Devils are knocking on the door of the top four with just three points separating them from Chelsea.
Manchester United could benefit from Manchester City’s two-year ban in the Champions League. If the ban is upheld on appeal, the league’s fifth-place team could qualify for the Champions League for 2020-21.
How much of an impact has Fernandes made for Manchester United in the league? He has been the creative player they had been missing without Paul Pogba. Fernandes leads the team in key passes per game with 2.3, according to WhoScore.com. He also leads the team with 1.3 crosses per match. The midfielder has already tallied the third-best average for passes per game with 63.
Manchester United now need a top-class striker to add to the creative midfielder. If Manchester United can finally replace Romelu Lukaku in the offseason, then the club could finally be back on the right track and contending for a top-four place on a regular basis once more. Fernandes alone won’t change the club’s fortunes but if more quality can be added, the Red Devils will be far better heading into the next campaign than they were going into this season.