Jose Chieira, the man behind Sporting Lisbon’s decision to sign Bruno Fernandes to the 18 times Portuguese champions back in 2017 has given a glowing prediction in light of Manchester United’s decision to make him captain.
Fernandes, 26, joined Sporting Lisbon from Sampdoria in 2017 for a fee of just £8.72m (TransferMarkt) and has since emerged as one of Europe’s most gifted midfielders.
The Portuguese sensation spent a hugely successful three-years with Sporting before joining United this January in a move which cost the Reds’ hierarchy £49.5m.
During Fernandes’ time in Portugal he featured in a total of 137 matches in all competitions and was directly involved in an impressive 115 goals during a period of time which saw the 26-year-old lift five major honours including Liga NOS’ Player of the Season two-seasons in a row.
Fernandes’ fine form has continued since his arrival in England’s top-flight just 10-months ago after having an unrivalled impact on a previously creativity-lacking United side.
The former Sporting captain currently boasts a whopping 26 direct goal contributions in just 27 matches in all competitions for the Reds with his latest achievement coming in the form of being named his side’s captain.
Ahead of the Reds’ important Champions League match against Paris-Saint Germain later tonight, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has awarded his Portuguese midfielder with the armband in the absence of Harry Maguire who has been ruled out due to injury, as per Solskjaer’s pre-match press conference.
Fernandes has been emerging as a contender to captain the Reds after the midfielder publicly showcased several leadership qualities with the latest coming during a recent team training session.
United’s number-18 was spotted demanding top level performances from team-mates as he criticised new-signing Alex Telles for not moving the ball on quickly enough during a training exercise.
In light of Solskjaer’s decision to place his side’s fortunes on the slender shoulder of Fernandes, Stretty News spoke exclusively with Sporting Lisbon’s Global Scouting and Recruitment expert Jose Chieira.
Chieira who previously worked for Sporting’s bitter rivals FC Porto in their recruitment team knows United’s new captain perhaps better than anybody having previously tried to bring him to the blue and white half of Portugal.
Speaking exclusively to Stretty News, we asked Chieira what makes Fernandes an ideal candidate to captain a team of United’s stature, he said: “Bruno is a true leader.
“He’s built on obvious top quality, hard work and an outstanding knowledge of the game.”
Chieira went on to give his verdict on how Fernandes may perform during tonight’s Champions League clash against PSG, he said: “Any performance depends on so many different variables other than being captain or not.
“But if there’s anyone able to rise to the occasion and surely put in a captain’s performance, whether you’re playing a Champions League match or some early morning training session, it’s Bruno.”
United are scheduled to kick-off in Paris at the Parc des Princes at 8pm UK time later tonight in a game which will be the first of the Reds’ 2020-21 Champions League campaign.
It goes without saying, if United are going to take anything away from last season’s finalists, Fernandes is going to have to be on top form, something which his former recruiter feels is more than possible.