Paul Pogba stands ahead of the rest in the Premier League with a staggering seven assists through the first five games.
No other Manchester United player even has two, which shows how impressive and effective Pogba has been.
Bruno Fernandes, who led United with 18 assists last season, so far only has one – which came in the Champions League.
Fernandes still playing at a high level
Fernandes is still playing at a high level creatively and this assertion is backed up by the underlying statistics, even if he sits at an unfortunate 0 assists from five Premier League games.
It was Fernandes who supplied the pass into Cristiano Ronald of his opening goal against West Ham. If Ronaldo scored first time, it would have been a Fernandes assist. But he needed two attempts, so Fernandes did not officially get the credit.
Fernandes’ pass into Ronaldo just after half-time set him up with a golden opportunity which was well saved by the goalkeeper.
Figures for this season show Fernandes’ passing actually has created more ‘Expected Assists’ than Paul Pogba.
FBRef.com show that through five games, Fernandes is averaging 1.5 Expected Assists per game, in comparison to Pogba’s 1.1.
In other words, Fernandes’ passing quality has been fine. He just has been unlucky in that his teammates have not finished the chances with the same efficiency.
Indeed Fernandes may wish he was at the end of his own passes. Three of Pogba’s seven assists were finished by Fernandes.
Pogba and Fernandes are level on 16 open play passes leading to shot attempts this season.
When it comes to successful ‘through balls’ played, Fernandes ranks joint number one in the Premier League with five, with Pogba on three.
Don’t worry about Fernandes
Looking at these numbers, along with watching his performances, it is almost a freak statistic that Fernandes has 0 Premier League assists so far.
He may not be able to catch the impressive Pogba, who has a big lead on him, but his numbers should be right up there at the end of the season.
The quality of Fernandes’ pass to set up Cristiano Ronaldo against Young Boys, and then his passing against West Ham, showed he is on the same wavelength as the team’s returning star.
It won’t be long until Fernandes’ assist numbers start rising. He is doing everything right in terms of supplying the volume and quality of chances created.
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