Manchester United had Bruno Fernandes to thank as they cruised ahead to a 5-0 thumping of Club Brugge in the Europa League on Thursday. The victory was a pivotal one for the Red Devils who have now strung together a run of great games and positive performances.
The common link in all of them is the fresh addition of Fernandes from Sporting, with the attacking midfielder bringing in a new dimension to the game and an aspect of creativity that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have been lacking all season.
However, another thing that Fernandes brings to the table is a mindset that is in-tune with that of a traditional United player.
This was illustrated best by what he did after being subbed off against Brugge.
Having scored the opening penalty and playing a vital role in the creation of Odion Ighalo and Scott McTominay’s respective goals, Fernandes was subbed off for Jesse Lingard in the 65th minute.
Rather than walking into the warmth and recovery of the dressing room Fernandes instead elected to stay on the bench and watch the game to its completion.
Solskjaer was certainly pleased with this move from the 25-year-old, stating: “When I took him off, obviously he didn’t want to come off. That’s one thing. He just loves football. He’s got so much enthusiasm and smile about him. He just wants to be out there, wants to better.”
The Norwegian gaffer then goes on to add: “I tried, to send him in because it’s cold. ‘No, I want to watch.’ He just loves football. He’ll probably know everything about football. He’s one of these old school boys and football is everything for him. He’s been a big, big boost for us.”
Fernandes’ reactions to Fred’s late goals certainly cement the above as United appear to have acquired a deeply passionate player.