Erik: Bruno offers more than goals and assists

Tuesday 18 October 2022 22:30

Erik ten Hag insists that Bruno Fernandes’s influence on his Manchester United team comes down to more than just goals and assists.

The Portuguese midfielder has previously spoken of his pride in racking up goal contributions and helping United in that way, but his biggest impact so far this season has arguably come elsewhere, according to his manager. 

Fernandes has one goal and two assists to his name so far in 2022/23, but the stats don’t tell the story of our no.8’s importance to Ten Hag’s side. 

While telling contributions in the final third are obviously majorly important to produce, Erik highlighted that it isn't the be-all and end-all to a player's influence, during the second part of his pre-Tottenham press conference on Tuesday afternoon, when asked about the potential for United to score more goals from midfield.
Part two: Ten Hag's Tottenham press conference Video

Part two: Ten Hag's Tottenham press conference

Press conference | In part two, Ten Hag discusses goals, Bruno's form, De Gea's future, player contracts and more...

“I think Bruno is playing really good this season, so I can see in that fact, he can produce more, goals, assists,” Erik said. 

“But I think he’s often in the line of the goal and he’s playing a massive role in a lot of moments of football for us. 

“In building up attacks, creativity, movement, but also in transitions, in both sides, in the defensive transitions he’s magnificent and doing a really good job so I’m really happy with his performances.”
Bruno has also, of course, led the Reds as captain when Harry Maguire has not been involved. 

The midfielder’s leadership qualities is another area that Ten Hag has been pleased with in Fernandes’s game. 

“That’s also one of the things [he’s impressed me with], I think he’s really an example," Erik added.

Every word from Erik’s press conference: Part 2


The second section of the manager’s pre-Tottenham media briefing is now available to view in full here.

“The way he transfers the way of play from us, how he motivates around him, how he is the example, so the energy he gives to the team, that’s really good and so I’m happy with his performance. 

“I know it will come, his goals and assists, and it will be even more."