Journalist Jack Pitt-Brooke has highlighted a potential concern for Manchester United ace Bruno Fernandes next season.
Pitt-Brooke was speaking on The Athletic Football Podcast following reports from The Mirror that the Red Devils have offered creative midfielder Christian Eriksen a contract, while also remaining in talks for Barcelona’s midfield maestro Frenkie de Jong.
Fernandes played in all but two of United’s Premier League games last season, scoring 10 goals and claiming six assists taking up the No 10 role under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.
However, under Erik ten Hag, that role could be made redundant, with the Dutch boss favouring a flat 4-3-3 formation while at Ajax – and Pitt-Brooke feels this could be an issue for the Portuguese playmaker.
Should Bruno start under ten Hag?
He said: “I don’t know how much Bruno Fernandes would fit into Erik ten Hag’s system for next season. He’s obviously a good individual player, Fernandes, but he doesn’t really strike me as much of a system player. He’s also a 10 for a manager who doesn’t really want to play with a 10.
“Ten Hag’s Ajax were really good, but they played a 4-3-3, they had a false 9 in Tadic, they had two wingers and they had hard-working midfielders, so I don’t know, I kind of feel like Fernandes would have to take a lot of the individualism out of his game to fit in with what Ten Hag wants. Maybe he can do it.”
TIF Thoughts on Bruno’s future…
While it is unknown how big of a role Ten Hag would have played in the 27-year-old’s recent contract extension, you would suspect for the manager to be happy to have Fernandes around.
The boss will be tasked with having to help the 46-cap Portugal international rediscover the form he showed during his first 18 months at Old Trafford, when he scored 26 goals and made 18 assists in his first 51 top-flight games.
The £76.5m-rated dynamo has played in a variety of positions and was often seen in a flat midfield three at Sporting. And with fans yet to see Ten Hag’s system of choice, Bruno’s future doesn’t appear to be in any serious doubt.