Manchester United don’t have a great track record in the transfer market over the last five years but Bruno Fernandes’ arrival in 2020 stands out like a sore thumb.
The 28-year-old has developed into one of the best players in the world in his position and under Erik ten Hag, he has become the vice-captain, a role that borders on full-time captaincy.
His impact in 2020 was immediate, taking United to a third-place finish within half a season when finishing inside the Champions League places looked unlikely.
It could have all been very different, however. In a recent interview with The Athletic, Fernandes has revealed that he nearly joined Tottenham Hotspur before signing for United.
“Yeah,” Fernandes said when asked if his proposed 2019 move to Tottenham was close. “It was long, yeah, until the deadline.
“It was a long period but obviously, at that moment it was a really good option for me. I wanted to go to the Premier League. The manager, Pochettino at the time, was the one who wants me there.
“It was a good offer from them. Sporting tried their best to keep me and they sell two other players because they want to keep me on the team and I have to understand that.
Since making his debut in February 2020, Fernandes has made 134 appearances for the Reds, scoring 51 goals in the process.