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Manchester United: Where’s Bruno?

Debuting for Manchester United on February 1 2020 against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Bruno Fernandes had an almost instant effect on Manchester United fans and squad alike. Despite joining halfway through the season Bruno was a big part in turning the season around, helping United secure Champions League football. The squad seemed to want to get up to his level, a trend that continued into last season and helped United reach the final of the Europa League. Heading into this current season United fans were a little more optimistic than in previous seasons, with signings such as Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane, and of course Bruno’s international teammate and former Man United icon Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bruno Fernandes after loss

Arguably one of the best transfer markets in many years, not just for Manchester United but for football as a whole, with United bringing in Sancho, Varane, and Ronaldo it left United fans excited about the link-up possibilities of Cristiano and Bruno just like fans of the Portugal national team have experienced in recent years. Ronaldo joined back up with Man United after the first international break of the season, during which United had been on a strong run of form. Bruno Fernandes found himself with four goals from 4 games. So understandably with the announcement of Cristiano starting the game against Newcastle United, fans were excited for what could come out of the Bruno and Ronaldo partnership. It started off well, although it was far from a complete partnership, there was definitely something to build off.

However with weeks going by Man United fell off form, with sporadic wins coming against Newcastle, West Ham, and Villareal. But certainly more embarrassing losses against Leicester City, Aston Villa, and Young Boys, Man United simply did not look like a team. But possibly the most surprising of all, Bruno Fernandes did not look like the Bruno Fernandes of last season, failing to find a pass, score goals from angles he had been scoring from all of last season. Man United as a whole were lacking confidence but it’s unfortunate that Bruno has to be one of them.

Bruno Fernandes in the rain

If we look at Yesterday’s – 28 November – game against Chelsea, Fernandes had hardly any positive involvement in the game, but credit where it is due he played a key part in Jadon Sancho scoring the opening goal of the game. However, people are more likely to see the cause of the goal being the heavy touch by Chelsea player Jorginho, knocking it into the feet of a high pressing Jadon Sancho. Now the argument can of course be made that it’s still only halfway through the season, but Bruno joined Man United with half of the season still left to play, He’s played 13 games thus far in this current season. In 2020 Bruno Fernandes scored 8 goals and made 7 assists in the premier league alone, currently, after 13 games he stands at 4 goals and 9 assists in all competitions, Three of those goals came in one game in the opening game of the season against Leeds United.

Bruno Fernandes at Villareal

Bruno Fernades seems to have lost his shooting boots. Is this down to a negative side of the Cristiano effect? Nobody can say for certain, but goal-scoring was an important part of Bruno’s game, perhaps it was down to the poor results of late? Is the new Interim manager Ralph Rangnick the man to give Bruno a confidence boost? I know United fans are hoping so, we are all hoping we get the Bruno Fernandes of the 20/21 season. A new face in the manager’s seat at Old Trafford, a technical master, and a high pressing genius could be exactly what Bruno Fernandes needs to find his focus once again.

Thank You For Reading.

Written by Craig Ferriman

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