Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes insists he is playing ‘much better’ this season, even though his goals and assist numbers are a fraction of what they were when he first arrived in 2020.
Fernandes has received more yellow cards (7) than direct goal involvements (6) in 22 games in all competitions so far this season. It’s a stark change from his first 18 months at the club when the Portuguese star put up insane numbers.
The player earned a reputation as a goalscoring machine during his final 18 months at Sporting CP in 2018 and 2019, with an astonishing 79 combined goals and assists in a season and a half during that period. He continued his sensational run at Manchester, netting 65 straight goals in his first 18 months at Old Trafford.
Fernandes is not concerned that his goal numbers have dipped since then as he believes he is contributing more to the team’s overall performance and results.
“If we’re talking about statistics, in my first year it was amazing,” he told NBC Sports.
“Maybe now, I’m not getting as many goals and assists but I’m playing a lot better and I’m more involved in the game than before.
“It’s more important that the team wins. It makes your week. It’s easier to go to training and see the same faces when you win than when you lose.”
In Harry Maguire’s regular absence in the first half of the campaign, Fernandes has often captained United this season and has proven himself in that role.
“I try to be myself,” the player explained shortly before Christmas. “That’s my way – I know if some people see me talking to my teammates or giving them information, some of them like it, others less. I just want to make things better for the team. I try to help.
“It’s something that comes naturally to me. It’s not something I try and do in training. Even in normal life I try to help people. My mom and my dad taught me that if you can help the next person, do it. If it means speaking up, I speak up.”