Bruno Fernandes has been an instant hit at Manchester United since signing at the end of January.

The Portugal international has just scratched the surface of what he can do, and already looks like an upgrade on United’s previous options.

United’s decision not to sign Fernandes last summer was clearly a mistake, and the reason attributed to it looks totally misguided.

The Mail reported last August that United were not impressed with his passing, citing a low completion rate as the key reason not to sign the attacker.

It always felt like United were needlessly picking holes in Fernandes’ game and looking for an excuse not to spend money.

(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Still the same player

Fernandes’ game has not changed during the past six months.

Against Watford he completed only 70 per cent of his passes, the lowest of any outfield player to feature for 90 minutes.

 

In the match with Chelsea he recorded a pass completion rate of 79 per cent.

The key point is Fernandes registered assists in both games and created seven goalscoring chances.

Creative players take risks. We said it last summer and it’s even more obvious now.

(Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The reason not to sign Fernandes last summer made no sense. He was a player who provided 18 assists in all competitions for Sporting.

Jesse Lingard has a Premier League pass completion rate of 87 per cent this season. That shows how meaningless the statistic is for his position. He has no goals and no assists in 20 appearances in the division.

Thankfully United made the right choice in the end and paid an initial £47 million to bring Fernandes to Old Trafford. We’ll never know how much simpler this season could have been if we had Fernandes from the start, but we can take a pretty good guess.

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