Speaking on The Done Deal Show, Dean Jones has dropped a worrying Bruno Fernandes claim which may concern Manchester United fans.
Ever since Fernandes was signed by Manchester United in January 2020, he has been a sensation, racking up 44 goals and 33 assists across all competitions while also helping them qualify for back-to-back Champions League campaigns and reach a Europa League final.
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This season has been a lot more difficult for the midfielder, though, as although he started the season off in scintillating form with a hat-trick on the opening day of the campaign, his influence on the pitch has certainly decreased – and this could possibly be down to the mammoth figure of Cristiano Ronaldo now on the field and taking the spotlight.
While this would only be an assumption, if you look at Fernandes’ record with the Portuguese national side, it does not make for great reading, having registered just six goals and seven assists in 40 appearances – and that is often when he is on the same pitch as Ronaldo, so perhaps a similar pattern is emerging at Old Trafford.
Jones believes that Fernandes is now cutting a frustrated figure on the pitch for Man United.
“The most worrying thing for me, really is – one is the failure to embrace Jadon Sancho and the second is how badly Bruno Fernandes has been playing, I mean, that is just unacceptable.
“Bruno Fernandes was your talisman, he’s the main playmaker, he’s the guy that literally makes the team tick, and he looks so annoyed and frustrated and he’s trying so hard that he’s just making mistakes, to be honest – like, he’s not himself.
“He’s not weighing in with the goal contributions anywhere close to where he was, he just seems unsettled by everything that’s going on – that’s a massive worry.”
TIF Thoughts on Fernandes…
For a period of time, it appeared that this Man United side was Fernandes’ team and he was the one that orchestrated everything, as his goal involvement was ridiculously high. In fact, on one of the rare occasions Ole Gunnar Solskjaer benched him last season, the manager brought him on at half time to salvage three points when the Red Devils came from 1-0 down against West Ham United to win 3-1.
Now, though, there is no way that Fernandes is going to be the main man at Old Trafford when a five-time Ballon D’or winner is in the same team, so Fernandes may have to find a way of influencing games in a different way that doesn’t involve him having to score to change matches – perhaps operating deeper and conducting the tempo of play could be a potential option.