It’s better late than never to have signed Bruno Fernandes. But lets not pretend our season was not damaged by the board dragging their feet over the deal.
United passed on Fernandes last summer and only a complete stroke of luck ensured that no other European side swooped in to sign Sporting’s prolific midfielder.
It was not just the failure to sign Fernandes last year which was damaging.
United only managed to sign Fernandes on January 30. By this time two semi-finals against City had passed us by.
The first semi-final was a disaster. The tie was over after 45 minutes with United three goals down.
Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard had particularly poor games, while Harry Maguire was badly missed at the back. We only improved after Nemanja Matic came on.
The second leg was frustrating in a different way. United came in at half-time just 3-2 down on aggregate.
In the second 45 minutes we could not create any real chances or have any proper shots at goal.
With Fernandes available, surely this would have been very different?
Fernandes’ first Manchester derby
This is a chance for Fernandes to prove his quality on the big stage. Nothing has daunted him so far and we expect another strong performance.
A match winning display from Fernandes against City is exactly what United fans want to see.
It will also leave us further wondering what might have been, if he was available for just one of the semi-final matches in January, let alone too.
Then there will be even more questions for chief executive Ed Woodward, and his decision not to sign the player a year ago, and then at the start of January when we badly needed him.
Had that decision been made to sign Fernandes earlier, United may even have a trophy this season by now, with City winning the Carabao Cup final last weekend.
- Denis Irwin gives his verdict on Manchester United's competition for places
- Who is the winger with £67m release clause Manchester United are linked with signing?
- 'Good deal'… Rio Ferdinand gives his verdict on Manchester United star's loan exit
- 'Speed'… Boss says Manchester United 20-year-old's pace crucial to first ever international cap
- Anthony Martial's best 5 moments as a Manchester United player as Sevilla loan exit nears