Manchester United defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic has admitted that he has ben surprised with the speed of which Bruno Fernandes has adapted to life at the Old Trafford club since signing for the club during the January transfer window. He has had an immediate impact at the club which is a good thing.
So far this season, Fernandes has made 12 appearances for the club, scoring four goals and four assists. During a period in which Paul Pogba was out of action through injury, Fernandes filled in and immediately became a player that could be trusted in the squad, helping drive United forward on their push for a top four finish this season.
United will be back in action on Tuesday evening as they face Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League, seeking three points to keep the chase on Chelsea and rise up to fifth in the league after being leapfrogged by Wolverhampton Wanderers after they beat Aston Villa 1-0 at the weekend. Fernandes played two hours against Norwich City in the FA Cup on Saturday, so he could be rested against Brighton.
Matic has stated that he knew United were signing quality in Fernandes because the Serbian has kept an eye on Portuguese football after he left Benfica in 2014. At that time, Fernandes was playing for Udinese in Italy, then signing for Sampdoria in the summer of 2015, before signing for Sporting Clube de Portugal in the summer of 2017. Matic said:
“I’ve followed him for a long time because I played in the Portuguese league at Benfica.
“I knew he would bring quality for us. He played for a big club with a lot of pressure to win, but I didn’t think he would adapt so quick. From the first minute in the Premier League he made the difference.
“I’m happy for him and happy we have him in the team. He’s playing in the position where he needs to make the difference. He has all the ability to be the leader on the pitch.”
It is good to see United with Fernandes in the team. Last summer, when the player was hotly linked with a move to the Old Trafford club, there was some disappointment when nothing materialised after a summer of rumours from his home nation. It was great to see United sign the player in January though, which was needed. Now he is forming a partnership with Paul Pogba, it could set United up on the road to greatness again.