Bruno Fernandes explains why he isn't worried by his goals drying up
Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes insists he playing ‘much better’ this season, even though his goal and assist numbers are a fraction of what they were when he first arrived in 2020.
Fernandes has picked up more yellow cards (7) than direct goal involvements (6) in 22 games in all competitions so far this season. That is a drastic change from his first 18 months at the club when the Portuguese star put up insane numbers.
The player had developed 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 one and a half seasons in that period. He carried that on in sensational fashion in Manchester with 65 direct goal involvements in his first 18 months at Old Trafford.
Fernandes isn’t concerned that his goal numbers have dropped off since then because he thinks he is contributing more overall to team performances and results.
“If we’re talking about statistics, in my first year it was amazing,” he told NBC Sports.
“Probably now, I’m not getting as many goals and assists but I’m playing much better and I am more involved in the game than I was before.
“It’s more important that the team wins. That makes your week. It’s easier to go to training and see the same faces when you win than it is when you lose.”
In the regular absences of Harry Maguire in the first half of the campaign, Fernandes has also often captained United this season and has revelled in the role.
"I try to be myself," the player explained shortly before Christmas. "It’s the way I am - I know that if some people see me talking to my team-mates or giving information to them, some of them like it, others less. I just try to help make the things better for the team.
"It’s something that comes naturally to me. It’s not something that I try and do in training. Even in normal life I try to help people. My mum and my dad made me understand that if you can help the next person, do it. If that means speaking then I speak."