Manchester United were tipped to sign Bruno Fernandes long before they finally sealed his move. Given how well the Portuguese has played to date, one can only wonder what might have been if a deal had been struck last summer.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But United fans will simply be pleased that Fernandes is now strutting his stuff in red. After all, he is the closest Old Trafford has seen to Eric Cantona since the man himself.
Fernandes makes things happen on the pitch. And last weekend it became clear that he also impacts what happens off it.
Leicester City are competing with United for a Champions League spot this season. So it was no surprise when Foxes players checked in on their rivals’ score following the full-time whistle.
As reported by the Sun, Kelechi Iheanacho reeled off United’s goal-scorers in their 5-2 victory last time out. And his comments on Fernandes were particularly telling.
“Bruno Fernandes will always score. He always scores,” Iheanacho said.
It is a fair point, given the £67million signing (BBC) already has seven goals and six assists for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. With three strikes in his last two outings, the simple fact is: Fernandes has hit the ground running.
He has also helped United win the psychological battle before a game even kicks off.
Victory off the pitch
If opponents believe the United star is going to score before a contest begins, that is half the battle won.
United are a different prospect these days and Fernandes’s arrival is a major reason for that.
Solskjaer always knew he needed a creative midfielder to unlock tight defences and he may just have signed the best in the business.
Teams haven’t been scared of United for a long time. But they are now.
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith told Sky Sports in his press conference: “The main man to watch is Fernandes who’s been outstanding for them.”
If Fernandes is the linchpin, so be it. But in saying he always scores, there is an admission that United always score.
That was the case more often than not under Sir Alex Ferguson. But under those that followed, opponents knew that an early goal in their favour could stifle the toothless United teams of recent years.
Solskjaer knows what he is doing. And so does the man who already has the respect of players who have been in this league for far longer.
Here’s hoping he keeps scoring.
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