There have always been players who have come to a club and completely transformed its fortunes. In recent times, despite the apparent lack of silverware, Bruno Fernandes has proved himself to be that player.
Back when he arrived at Old Trafford, the Red Devils, then under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, were struggling for consistency and a creative force in midfield.
Paul Pogba was supposed to be that player but had failed in that department and the 20-time English champions splashed the cash to bring in the 28-year-old in January.
Fernandes, a United hero
And he instantly lifted spirits across the red half of Manchester and his initial goals and assists ratio was insane and that did not let up even in his second season where United came really close to picking up the Europa League.
In 22 games in his first season and 58 in his second, the Portuguese playmaker notched a superlative 40 goals and 25 assists, numbers a striker would be proud of.
Last season, following Cristiano Ronaldo‘s arrival, his goal contributions did go down but he still registered 10 goals and 14 assists in 46 games.
Two assists vs. Ghana and two goals vs. Uruguay.
Bruno Fernandes is having a tournament so far 🔥 pic.twitter.com/EQ8EiJCNNF
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) November 28, 2022
With Erik ten Hag‘s arrival, the Portugal international has been given the additional responsibility of being captain on most match-days and despite just three goals and the same number of assists in 20 games, Fernandes has shone glimpses of regaining his old form.
But even more than that, his contribution for the team in both areas of the pitch and his never-say-die attitude have made him a fan favourite and a hugely respected figure in the dressing room.
And on the rare occasion that the former Sporting Lisbon star has not started a game, United have ended up losing and this highlights his importance in Ten Hag’s system.
Real Madrid interested in Bruno
Fernandes has also lit up the World Cup stage with two goals and two assists in the first two games which has ensured Portugal’s progression into the last 16.
His form has not gone unnoticed as Portuguese publication Record have mentioned the keen interest he is garnering from La Liga giants Real Madrid.
The report mentions how the Los Blancos have held an interest in the United superstar from his Sporting Lisbon days and that they could ‘soon be back’ for him.
At the moment, Fernandes feels ‘satisfied and complete’ in Manchester but he ‘doesn’t close the door to a step forward’ in his career, even though he’s focused on other objectives at this very moment.
The attacking midfielder’s United contract is set to run till 2026 and is currently valued at €75million by Transfermarkt. But considering his importance to the Dutch manager’s plans, the player is unlikely to be ever sold for such a low price.