In January 2020, Manchester United signed with Portuguese football player Bruno Fernandes. After years of struggling, it looks like Manchester United is coming back in their glory days. But one swallow does not make a spring. With few new signings this summer, this team can be strong Manchester United, when they won Uefa Champions League. But what did this one swallow bring to Manchester exactly?
Earlier in his career, Bruno already showed that he can be a strong leader in his team. As a young player in Italy, he showed great knowledge of and tranquility on the pitch. After few years in Udinese and Sampdoria, he came back to his country in Sporting. There he showed how good a player he is. He broke Sporting’s record for most goals in team history by a midfielder. He became captain and led Sporting in their Uefa Europe League campaign. All these achievements made him the most wanted player in Europe. In Manchester United, he already showed in his five games that he will be a great signing. With a couple of goals and assists in his first five games, he led his team in Manchester’s derby match. He had an assist on the first Manchester United goal with his sneaky free-kick and he was certainly the best player on the pitch.
When things don’t go well Bruno is the guy to go to. He is a classic playmaker player who can control flow on his team attacks. With one pass or one shoot, he can change the whole game. He showed this to us several times playing for Sporting and he sure brought all his qualities with him to England. Today there are not too many players like that in modern football and Manchester United got one of the best in this category.
Even tho he is not the tallest or strongest guy on the pitch, Fernandes is actually a great defender. You won’t hear this too much because his plays in the attack are just breathtaking so people are not usually associating his defensive assignments. His positioning when the opponent has the ball is just outstanding. He is not going to win aerial challenges but with his positioning, he won’t let the ball past him easily. Sometimes it looks like he is not aggressive enough on the opponent but all of that is part of tactics. Spacing himself perfectly between two opponents, he is closing pass trough the middle very good and that makes his defender jobs a lot of easier.
When a basketball player makes a shot for the win, we say he is “clutch”. The same can be said for Bruno Fernandes in football. In Sporting, he showed us he will never step back from his responsibility. Either it is taking a penalty shot or taking the whole game on his back, he doesn’t have any problem with the pressure.
Making teammates better
Maybe the most important thing is that Bruno is not a selfish player. He knows when to take a step forward or step back, depending on game situations. With his unselfishness, he will always pass the ball to his teammate and won’t feel less important if he is not the star of the match. This is quality that most managers appreciate and with this, there is no doubt that this signing can only make Manchester United a better team.
It still can be early for some conclusions but Bruno Fernandes is showing us that he is a great player for Premier League. With Covid-19 and pause in football, we will need to wait to see more of Bruno. Perhaps Manchester United can surround him with talent this summer. If so, there is no doubt that Manchester will be again a great team and that they will compete for the Premier League title.