In Depth

Bruno Fernandes: Man Utd’s new star has the X factor to become an Old Trafford legend

Portuguese playmaker has impressed the fans and pundits

Bruno Fernandes has only been a Manchester United player since January but the Portugal star has made a massive impact since his arrival at Old Trafford. 

Signed from Sporting Lisbon in the transfer window, Fernandes has so far made nine appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils, scoring three goals and providing four assists. 

Fernandes’s contribution to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has not gone unnoticed by the critics and fans. He was named the Premier League’s player of the month for February and also won the club’s own fan-voted trophy and the PFA’s monthly award.

United boss Solskjaer recently said of his star signing: “He works hard. He’s humble enough, he’s got the desire, commitment, but he’s also got the X factor. 

“He’s a risk taker, he’s got courage, he’s brave enough to make mistakes and if you make enough mistakes they’ll be corrected into fantastic assists or goals.”

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Huge impact

Former Red Devils captain Roy Keane and ex-United defender Gary Neville have also been impressed with the 25-year-old playmaker. 

Sky Sports pundit Neville said: “Bruno Fernandes has made an impact beyond what anyone could have expected, not just in possession but out of possession. The way he sprints and gets at people, he is hungry and it looks like it is rubbing off on people.”

Keane was equally complimentary and added: “He has lifted everybody at the club. It is as if he has been there for 20 years. He has got pure quality and it looks like he is going to be a big player for United for the next few years.”

Dalot: he can be a legend at this club

Fellow Portuguese Diogo Dalot believes his new team-mate can become a “legend” at Old Trafford. Dalot told the official Manchester United podcast: “He’s a top guy, a top player. He is going to be a legend, no doubt about that. 

“He’s unbelievable, he can get better of course as well. He’s going to learn a lot from this club. I think he is a massive player to have in this team and he’s going to be a very good player for this club.”

Fernandes: in his own words

After winning the EPL player of the month Fernandes spoke to Sky Sports about the start of his United career and the praise received from club icons Keane and Neville. 

In an interview with Cronache Di Spogliatoio he also spoke about his “idol” Cristiano Ronaldo. Like Fernandes, Portugal skipper Ronaldo signed for the Old Trafford club from Sporting. 

Here we look at what Fernandes had to say...

A ‘dream’ to play for United

“Since I was a kid it was a dream to play for Manchester United and to be there at Old Trafford is the biggest dream of my career. When you come to a new club you always want to score and the first goal  is special. It doesn’t matter how the goal is scored, but the important thing is the goal’s worth. I’m happy with my start, but from now I need to give more, to be better.”

His start to life at Old Trafford

“We can talk about a new start after Bruno but it is not about Bruno, it is about the team. One player doesn’t change a team. The team changes when everyone pushes together for the same side. But the support I receive from the fans since the first day is amazing. I listened to the song they do for me and I was like, ‘I have been here for two days and I already have a song!’ The love they give me in this first month is really good.”

Reacting to Keane’s praise 

“These are big words from a big player. This is what I want to do in Manchester. I want to be the best I can and, if it is possible, be remembered as one of the best in Manchester.”

His own work ethic

“When I react, when I lose the ball, I am angry and every time I want more. This is the difference between me and some players. If you want to be better and better, and if you want to be one of the best, you need to look for details. I think if you have one, two, three or four players in the team who have that desire, you push the others and you need to push the others.”

Top-class facilities at United

“At the training ground, you can find everything. When I arrived for medicals, everything impressed me. At Old Trafford you warm up with nobody in the stands, you hear nothing in the tunnel, and then you enter the pitch and you hear an incredible noise. If you talk about stadiums that everyone knows, the most historic are San Siro and Old Trafford.”

Why Ronaldo is his idol

“He [Ronaldo] welcomed me very well to the Portugal national team. We look at him as an idol, he has always been an idol for me. I followed his example, he is one of my favourites. When I was called up by Portugal, he came to me saying, ‘You are doing a good job at Sporting, I like it’. Words like these make the difference.”

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