When Manchester United fans were imploring the club to sign Bruno Fernandes last summer, this is the impact they believed he could have.
The Portugal midfielder has made a sparkling start to his Old Trafford career and his early impact really does beg the question over where United would be in the league if they had him all season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has been lacking creativity ever since the Norwegian was handed the permanent job and an attacking midfielder of real quality was essential.
In Fernandes, United have a player that can dictate the tempo of the game through his leadership, composure and accuracy in possession
The Reds now have a player in the number 10 position that always wants the ball at his feet, and is first thought is always how he can create a goal.
What has been so telling about United since Fernandes’ arrival late in January is how much more of a potent attacking force they have become.
While LASK were weak opponents diminished by a lack of home support in Austria, United swept them aside in a performance that reminded us of when Solskjaer first took caretaker charge.
Fernandes is the paradigm of an improved United with serious attacking intent and purpose to their play.
There is little doubt that players around him, such as Fred, have benefitted from his presence in attacking midfield.
It’s no coincide that United have enjoyed their longest unbeaten run of the season with Fernandes in the team.
This stat, courtesy of UtdArena shows how Fernandes is providing the Reds with far more goalscoring opportunities.
Chances Created per 90 since Bruno Fernandes has played as an attacking midfielder for United:
3.91 – Fernandes
3.87 – L. Alberto
3.66 – Müller
3.59 – Di María
3.43 – Messi
3.21 – De Bruyne
3.15 – Neymar
3.00 – Alexander-Arnold
2.81 – A. Gómez pic.twitter.com/ZQS7gguyQM
— UtdArena. (@utdarena) March 13, 2020