Why Man Utd need to cash in on Bruno Fernandes NOW

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia
  • 25 Feb 2024 10:57 GMT
  • 3 min read
Bruno Fernandes, Man Utd, 2023/24

It doesn’t take much for Manchester United to be thrown into crisis, having seen their six-match unbeaten run come to an abrupt halt after a last-minute winner for Fulham sent Erik ten Hag’s side crashing down to earth.

United hoped they had turned a corner with their improved form but the performance was alarmingly reminiscent of the lacklustre displays from their first half of the campaign and the club’s star players attracted scrutiny following an eighth home defeat of the season.

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In particular, United skipper Bruno Fernandes was cast under the spotlight, with the attacking midfielder enduring his least-productive season of his four years at the club.

Fernandes grabbed 16 goal contributions from midfield last season but he has totalled just half that figure this year, while the Portuguese international’s four goals and assists in the last 15 games is the same number of bookings he has in that time.

For the most part, United’s shortcomings appear to be tactical, with Marcus Rashford proving just as isolated against Fulham as the injured Rasmus Hojlund prior to the Dane’s recent flurry of goals.

However, with Fernandes expected to be pursued heavily by Saudi Pro League clubs in the summer, United could take the opportunity to cash in on their star man before a total decline in the playmaker’s performances and fitness.

Bruno Fernandes has been a frustrated figure at times for Man Utd this season.
© IMAGO - Bruno Fernandes has been a frustrated figure at times for Man Utd this season.

Ironman Fernandes showing signs of cracking

Fernandes has missed just five Premier League games since the start of the 2020/21 season and he has often represented a consistent, hard-working and determined performer during the club’s rough times.

However, Fernandes’ form has tailed off in recent months and the 29-year-old is among the players who has been dribbled past the most in the Premier League this season.

While he has still shown signs of his creative best for United, Fernandes has been the outfield player with the most minutes played during his time at the club and has often proven a liability in other areas when not producing in attack.

Fernandes has also come under criticism for his attitude and body language during United’s losses this season, often being seen complaining to teammates and officials when frustrated.

With United keen to revamp their squad, the club need to sell players to finance a rebuild and Fernandes could arguably be United’s most lucrative asset in a sale to Saudi sides.

New investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe is aware that United have often held onto players past their peak, which has seen their sale potential drop and left the club holding onto expensive players whose performances don’t match their high wages.

Although selling Fernandes could prove risky as he is still one of Ten Hag’s most important players, the money generated would be beneficial in the long-run to United and ensure their captain leaves the club with his reputation intact before a seemingly inevitable fall off.

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