Bruno Fernandes’ numbers usually mask his performance level, but he only has one goal and two assists this season.
Bruno Fernandes is “playing really well” as Manchester United captain, according to Erik ten Hag.
Since Harry Maguire was dropped against Liverpool in the third game of the season, Fernandes has skippered United in all but one game, but he has only scored one goal.
In his first 18 months after arriving from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020, Fernandes was prolific at scoring and creating, and he tallied 10 goals and 14 assists last term but his performance level deteriorated markedly.
This season, Fernandes’s only strike has been the winner at Southampton on August 27 and he has set up two goals, while his role in the team has been questioned by some amid Christian Eriksen’s importance.
Fernandes, 28, has recorded a remarkable 51 goals and 41 assists for United in 139 appearances and Ten Hag is pleased with his impact beyond the numbers
“Bruno is playing really well this season,” Ten Hag said. “In that fact, he can produce more goals and assists but I think he is often in the line of the goal and he is playing I think a massive role in a lot of moments of football for us, in the build-up and in creativity and attacking, movement but also transition, both sides.
“In defensive transition, he is magnificent, he is doing a really good job so I am really happy with his performance.
“[Leadership] is also one of the things; he is a real example with the way he transfers the ball for us, how he motivates those around him, and the energy he brings to the team.”
“That’s really good, and I’m pleased with his performances; I’m confident his goals and assists will follow.”