Bruno gives us every reason to be cheerful
Manchester United have had our share of talismanic signings over the years and Bruno Fernandes is proving to be the latest of them.
The Portugal midfielder has made the sort of impact he could have only dreamed about since joining the club at the end of January.
A new man who has instantly looked at home and dominated our Player-of-the-Month awards, enjoying virtual universal adulation among the club's support, and swiftly becoming a firm favourite.
Box to Box: Bruno Fernandes special episode
Don't miss this special episode of Box to Box, as Bruno explains the no.10 role and how he gels with his team-mates...
I felt it was interesting approaching the Europa League semi-final with Sevilla that the general consensus was the former Sporting Lisbon star was looking a little tired after a taxing schedule following the return to action. This had, of course, been his first taste of life in the physically demanding Premier League.
Despite this, he'd maintained incredible productivity with his goals and assists, and the ability to coolly score from the spot has proved essential. Of course, he converted penalties when under pressure against Leicester City, FC Copenhagen and Sevilla as the season drew to a close.
Bruno may have netted in the first half against the Spanish side but it was his all-round performance in Cologne which convinced me that even better is to come from the 25-year-old.
I thought he was excellent, against tough opponents who proved their quality again when beating Internazionale in the final. Sevilla are strong in midfield, and Ever Banega is a wonderful footballer, but our no.18 sparkled, exerting his influence and trying to make things happen.
Because that is what Bruno does. He is a risk-taker who plays passes designed to create goalscoring chances. He gets into dangerous positions himself and is desperate to win.
Fernandes will adapt even better to the Premier League once he has spent more time in the division and the feeling is he will relish the responsibility of pushing United towards silverware. Some might argue he could become a marked man and be less of an unknown quantity.
However, he appears to have the character and personality to suggest he can follow in some of the names of the past who have been outstanding signings for the club. The fact he has dismissed any comparisons with Eric Cantona and constantly talks about the desire to improve, individually and as a team, to win trophies can only bode well.
United look a different side when he plays, a more menacing side, and he is a joy to watch. Let's hope Bruno can be just as effective in 2020/21 as he was in the second part of last season. The signs are he definitely will be.
The opinions in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Manchester United Football Club.
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