Bruno Fernandes made his 150th start for Manchester United against Leicester City on Sunday.
The Portuguese midfielder made his debut in February 2020 and has played four more games than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues, including goalkeepers, and 11 more than any other outfielder over the past three years. I’m here.
The 28-year-old has missed just one matchday squad since arriving at Old Trafford due to illness.
In total, he has made 162 appearances in all competitions for United.
After underperforming last season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, Fernandes has regained his place as a steadfast and essential member of the starting line-up this season.
Eric ten Hag has chosen to place him on right wing since the World Cup. This was slightly forced by injuries on Antony and Jadon Sancho’s sabbatical, but the decision nonetheless proves inspired.
Fernandez himself claimed that the decision was made in light of showing responsibility on the training ground.
“It’s important [for the coaching staff] I can play different positions, I can do different things and the manager trusts me to play right field, number 8, left field or wherever he needs me to play. to know,” he said.
Moreover, since Sancho rejoined the team, the Englishman has been almost front and center in Fernandez’s favored number 10 role.
We’ve also seen target man Wout Weghorst used as numbers 10 and 9.
We can speculate that Ten Hag’s ambition to turn United into a total football team has contributed to this shift in position.
The Dutch director is effectively trying to create a dynamic, unpredictable and multifaceted system, and the players within that system.
However, Fernandez’s passing ability shows that he is well suited to the right.
He made nine important passes against Leicester. This is his most one-game appearance in the Premier League this season.
His drive to defend is also admirable, and lessens the blow taken by losing the tenacious and hardworking Antony.
Fernandez won five grand duels and created four clearances to contribute to United’s effort to nullify Barcelona last Thursday.
When playing as his regular position, No. 10, Fernandes consistently drifts noticeably towards the left side of the pitch.
But with club captain Harry Maguire becoming the fifth-choice centre-back, becoming de facto team captain, Fernandes has embraced the need to lead by example in recent weeks. . Also, being good at things like that helps the 28-year-old achieve this leadership position.
From the day he arrived, Fernandes has made it a priority to make United a successful club again. Speaking ahead of last month’s League Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest, he said:
“In this club, I never [achieved] My main goal is to be here at Manchester United and win trophies with the club.
“It’s the first thing we can get and hopefully we can win the semi-finals, get to the finals and win the first trophy.”
And then there’s the answer to the first question: It might be the perfect time for Fernandez to start lifting trophies with Manchester United wearing the captain’s armband.