Manchester United are interested in a summer move for Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes. The 24-year-old remains one of the most sought after midfielders in Europe. But what can he offer this Man United team? Bet on football here.
Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes has been the subject of intense transfer speculation during the summer window with top clubs in Europe chasing his signature. The 24-year-old enjoyed a stunning season with Sporting Lisbon, as he netted 23 goals from midfield and provided 18 assists.
The 24-year-old has been linked with Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and frontrunners Manchester United.
But what does he really bring to the Manchester United midfield?
United currently possess a world-class midfielder in Paul Pogba. However, Nemanja Matic is entering his 30s, Fred hasn’t really found his feet, whilst Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira remain good squad players. So, Fernandes’ addition to this group of midfielders will obviously raise the quality.
At 24, the Portuguese is now entering his prime years and will add class and most importantly support to Pogba who did almost everything for United. In the 2017/18 season, Fernandes scored 16 goals in 56 matches and this past season, he bagged 19 in the Primeira Liga and 32 in all competitions which is ridiculous.
If United sign him, they’ll have another goalscoring midfielder who can strike a potent partnership with Pogba reminiscent of United’s great midfield of the past like Paul Scholes and Roy Keane.
Fernandes would have no trouble adapting to new surroundings, given he has already left Portugal at a young age to play in Italy, before returning to Sporting two years ago.
He has already established himself in the Portugal national team since returning to Sporting CP, winning 13 caps. Although he primarily played in a three-man midfield for Sporting this season, he did operate further forward at times as well, as well as occasionally filling a more defensive role too.
One notable skill Fernandes possesses is the ability to shoot from distance. Of the 120 shots he attempted last season, 74 were from distance. He, therefore, doesn’t add quality on the ball but also a threat in front of goal.
Fernandes' ability to pick out key passes has also been highlighted as one of his strong points, with the Portuguese international averaging 3.2 key passes per game in the Primeira Liga for Sporting CP last season. This is much better compared to Matic for instance who made 0.5 key passes per game. Pogba, on the other hand, made 1.6 key passes per game in the Premier League.
The 24-year-old also provided 13 assists in the league last season. Meanwhile, Pogba, arguably United’s best player scored 13 goals and provided nine assists in the Premier League. If the Red Devils sign him, he might take some of the creative burden off Pogba, allowing the team to be more dynamic.
If the Frenchman stays, the two could form a dangerous duo in the middle of the park. Unlocking resolute defences will be much easier against teams who defend deep. Fernandes will also give United a chance to close the gap with the best in the Premier League.
United signing Fernandes might not completely revolutionise the team and bring immediate success but it will take them a step closer to what they want to be.