There’s a clear distinction between Manchester United before and after Bruno Fernandes signed for the club in January 2020 – a line in the sand. The 27-year-old made an immediate impact pre-pandemic and has kept that form up for nearly two years.
Fernandes is the focal point of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side and without him, they don’t quite look the same. Against Newcastle, he was once again their most reliable creator and the player others looked for when their attacking structure let them down.
Unfortunately, United’s reliance on Fernandes means that when the opposition put three players on him, it’s difficult to get much out of the Portugal international.
50 – Bruno Fernandes' assist was his 50th goal involvement in 58 @premierleague appearances (30 goals, 20 assists); only Andy Cole (43), Alan Shearer (54) and Eric Cantona (54) reached 50 combined goals and assists in fewer games in the competition. Nifty. pic.twitter.com/mszliC27jt
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 2, 2021
He has now joined an elite group of Premier League players to reach 50 goal involvements (30 goals, 20 assists) in the competition and he has reached that feat in just 58 Premier League appearances, the fourth-fastest in the competition’s history, according to Opta.
Fernandes’ record is only bettered by former Manchester United duo Andy Cole and Eric Cantona, with Alan Shearer also doing it faster.