Manchester United

Manchester United: Statman Dave tips playmaker to ‘thrive’ under Erik ten Hag

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Football analyst Statman Dave, as seen on Sky Sports and the BBC, has laughed off accusations that Bruno Fernandes won’t fit into Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United side.

Dave included the Portuguese playmaker as one of five players who will ‘thrive’ under the new United boss on his YouTube channel.

Former Premier League goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen told GegenPod (via TEAMtalk) that the midfield dynamo struggles when playing with compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, while Roy Keane has hailed his ability, but condemned the 27-year-old for ‘throwing his arms about’ and would like to see more ‘character’.

However, the £76.5m-rated ace has arguably been United’s best player since he arrived in Manchester back in January 2020, directly contributing to 88 goals in 125 appearances.

Fernandes played in all but two of United’s Premier League games last season, scoring 10 goals and making six assists, taking up the No 10 role most prominently under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, with Statman Dave now tipping him for further success in red under the new Dutch manager.

He said: “I’ve seen a lot of people suggesting that Bruno is too high-risk to work and in a Ten Hag system and that is just absolutely ridiculous.

“Bruno Fernandes can do absolutely everything that is required of an attacking midfielder.

“As much as Ten Hag is a possession-based coach, he still uses high-risk players.

“His structured system will create multiple passing options for Bruno, which will help reduce the frequency of his high-risk passing, but also the system will allow Bruno’s short passing to improve – one of my criticisms of the Portuguese playmaker.”

TIF Thoughts on Bruno and United…

Having recently signed a contract extension until 2026, it would appear that Fernandes is set to play a key role in Ten Hag’s side, even with the seemingly imminent arrival of Christian Eriksen to the club.

While the Dane will help carry the creative burden at the club, the new coach will be tasked with helping the 46-cap Portugal international rediscover the form he showed during his first 18 months at Old Trafford when he was involved in 44 goals in 51 games, including scoring 26 times in a goal-laden spell.

His stats certainly back up Statman Dave’s argument, and there is clearly every chance that a new manager in the dugout and more competition for his position could yet bring the best out of Fernandes after what was a relatively underwhelming personal campaign considering the standards he had set at Old Trafford.

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