Manchester United supporters and close observers of the transfer window alike were left utterly baffled when Bruno Fernandes didn’t finish July as a Red Devil.
The Portuguese midfielder was a much-talked-about target of the Mancunian giants from before the window itself and many were expecting him to be an early arrival in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s roster.
While the initial progress made by the Old Trafford outfit in the saga was heavily exaggerated, there was no denying that a strong interest did exist on part of the English club.
In fact, towards the end of the summer, sights of the player being emotional during Sporting’s pre-season games and reports of his agent shuttling to and fro from London did spike a lot of hope.
However, the saga failed and much blame was targeted at the Glazers for failing to fund the transfer as it was believed that United considered the player’s asking price too high.
Over the weekend, as United supporters were dealt a massive blow in their 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, Fernandes’ showings elsewhere effectively rubbed salt onto their wounds.
The midfielder assisted all three goals in Sporting’s 3-1 victory over Portimonense. All three assists were picturesque ones and have left United supporters angry and frustrated over the club’s inability to sign him.
Today, Bruno Fernandes had more assists (3) in 90 minutes than Jesse Lingard has had in his last 37 games. pic.twitter.com/3MgFdC7CSq
— UtdArena. (@utdarena) August 25, 2019
Bruno Fernandes has got three assists for Sporting tonight. That’s more in one night than Lingard has got for us in over a year. One of them isn’t good enough to play for us though apparently.
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) August 25, 2019
Just the three assists for Bruno Fernandes tonight. Four for the season already. Are you seriously telling me he wouldn't be an upgrade?
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) August 25, 2019
In particular, Twitter was riddled with comparisons between the Portuguese talent and Jesse Lingard. The kind of creative intent and strong midfield presence that Fernandes showed in the game was precisely what Lingard has failed to provide for United in the three games so far this season.
This isn’t an observation that has landed out of the blue as many supporters predicted such incompetency when the club failed to secure any midfield additions to their roster.
Now, until the January window at least, United fans will have to sit through the sweet torture of ace attacking midfield showings across Europe.