Transfer Grade: Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United

Posted By Uttiyo Sarkar on January 30, 2020

Who: Bruno Fernandes
From Where: Sporting CP
To Where:
Manchester United
For How Much:
Up to €80m
Grade For Manchester United: A
Grade For Sporting CP:

Well, it’s FINALLY done! After months of speculation, Bruno Fernandes is becoming a Manchester United player. It’s a win-win for all sides. The Portuguese side allegedly desperately needed to sell their star captain to clear outstanding debt, while the 25-year-old himself gets his dream move.

United get the creative advanced midfielder they are looking for in order to provide better service to their front-three. It could be their only January signing, but definitely an effective one to light up the second half of the season.

Who Is He?

Fernandes is a Portuguese International who has appeared for his national team 17 times in his career. He was part of their 2018 FIFA World Cup squad, making two appearances He was also part of their UEFA Nations League-winning side last year

He played for Serie A sides Udinese & Sampdoria before making 130+ appearances for Sporting after joining them in 2017. He’s also been the captain for the Portuguese side, having scored 63 league goals and assisted 51 in his three years at the club. Moreover, Bruno was also named the Portuguese League’s Player of the Year in 2018.

Is The Price Fair?

So the price is around €55 million with another €25m in variables. This is quite a lot for someone who hasn’t been that successful in a top European league. That being said, Fernandes’ numbers say a lot about his quality. He’s that dynamic link which the Red Devils have been lacking.

Not only will Fernandes complement the attacking players, but allow some breathing room for Paul Pogba as well. While United might be overpaying just a little for the Portuguese, they could get their money’s worth if his goal contributions can hit double digits soon.

What Impact Should We Expect?

Before discussing him, let’s look at United’s options in the playmaker role. One is Juan Mata, who is silky as ever, yet father time limits his work-rate. Andreas Pereira’s indecisiveness often costs Ole Gunnar Solskjaer more points than it wins him.

Pogba’s the ultimate one & he’s looking most likely to join Real Madrid in the summer. The Red Devils desperately need a committed, consistent figure in order to get their front-line firing on all cylinders.

Even though he gains his reputation for the heroics in Portugal’s LIGA NOS, the 25-year-old’s contributions are too good to resists. Last season, he had 20 goals & 13 assists in the league alone! This season, he’s had 8 goals & 7 assists in just 15 appearances. Leave aside the league’s competitiveness for a second. This guy legitimately averages a goal contribution every single game!

Bruno is statistically much better than every United midfielder or winger right now (Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial aren’t either). He also has a wicked long-range shooting ability, meaning he’ll keep testing goalkeepers from afar- something which United midfielders haven’t done enough either.

He can play in a number of midfield roles, including dictating tempo from deep or keeping things ticking centrally The Portugal International clearly has that magical touch which the Red Devils have lacked on far too many occasions this season.

With the Portuguese in the attacking hole, the Red Devils have a player who can be trusted to open up defences with his cutting-edge passes. But don’t’ allow his creative genes to mistake him for being a soft-guy. He’s an aggressive hound whenever required, putting in crunching tackles to unsettle opposition midfielders & firing up his own team-mates.

So Bruno’s inclusion will make sure that OGS’ side doesn’t crumble under pressure or get dominated at the middle-as they’ve been throughout this season. He has both the steel & skill required to bring a fine balance in keeping their midfield functional throughout tough times.

Fred & Scott McTominay can benefit from this. They’ll be allowed more breathing room to win back possession and pass it along to someone who can find those incisive passes to Rashford or Martial. The United front-men now have a creative cog to trust upon.

The good thing is he’s well accustomed to the UEFA Europa League as well. He’s eligible to play for United in the competition, as per the new rules. With the competition looking like their ticket to the UEFA Champions League next season, they’ll need the new signing to come up with the goods in Europe.

But his real challenge will arrive in the Premier League. With such a large price-tag, there will be pressure to come up with special performances to fuel United’s fire. But going by how much a dedicated, clever individual he is, Fernandes should bring back that Portuguese spice which has been missing at the club for a long time.

The Grade

Manchester United (A) – Bruno should be everything United fans have been craving for. He’s essentially that missing link between their midfield & attack. I don’t know about this season, but Fernandes should eventually reinvent the feistiness in United’s style and help their talented front-three reach their utmost potential.

Sporting CP (B-) – Yeah, so Sporting are getting a big fee for Fernandes, but losing their backbone. Everything in their attack went through him. It’ll be difficult to find a fierce leader like him. It will affect their season. But they can use the money to solve their persisting issues, which is the only salvation from this deal.

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Uttiyo Sarkar

An unbiased Manchester United die-hard. Lover of the beautiful game. Addicted to the Premier League and beyond. Hopeful writer in the search for the greater good.

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