Why is Bruno Fernandes the Diamond that every rival fan hoped his club bought!

The happiness that a miner derives when he first lays his eyes on rough diamond in the sweltering heat is the same kind of happiness being provided by Bruno Fernandes to every Man United fan. He’s like a diamond which has been gifted to us – fans by their better halves (the club) reminding us constantly, every game, his true value!

If the Premier League season had started when Manchester United signed Fernandes, United would be 3rd in the league, joint on 42 points with Man City, separated only by GD of +9 goals. That’s the impact he’s had at Manchester United! Rival fans call him Pe-nandes or mock him, but that’s only because of the jealousy that crops up, because they know he’s the best!

So why are others so wary of him? Lets analyze:

Arrival at Man United – Bruno Fernandes signed from Sporting Lisbon for reported fee of £47m with add-ons increasing the cost to £67.7m over the course of 5 years. United wanted to sign Bruno earlier that summer, but failed to negotiate a fee with Sporting, eventually signing him in the winter transfer window.

Having signed only mid-way through the season, Bruno went on to win the Player of the year award for 2019-20. Fernandes notched a total of 12 goals in 22 matches in all competitions for United, as they lost steam in the semi-finals of the FA cup and Europa League.

The fans took to Bruno like a duck takes to water! They have looked upon him as a messiah, who they have always wanted. Someone like Eric Cantona who through his experience & skills drove the club then, as well as someone like Bryan Robson, who through his leadership & passion for the club guided the club through choppy waters.

Stat Attack – While I can go on & on about Bruno like a star struck kid, does Bruno actually merit this stardom? Lets compare his stats over 2 seasons with us, (I was shocked to see them):

All stats for Premier League only Fernandes (PL 19/20) Fernandes (PL 20/21)
Passing (per 90)
Total Pass completion %71.374.7
Key Passes2.583.42
Passes in final 3rd5.458.08
Passes into Penalty area1.743.42
Progressive Passes6.069.59
Receiving (per 90)  
Miscontrols1.741.1
Dispossessed1.211.1
vs Dribbles(per 90)
No of dribblers tackled0.380.96
Tkl%14.729.2
Pressures (per 90)
Successful Pressure %2526.1
Blocks (per 90)
Blocks1.062.47
Tackles + Interceptions1.973.29
Source – fbref.com

If you go through the stats carefully, you will be astonished by the fact that his stats have almost doubled this season & he has found another gear this season, all top players do, when needed. Its like he’s got a point to prove to the world, that he belongs to this place, he belongs at this club & he’s not going anywhere!

A sarcastic thread by a United fan on Bruno’s passing abilities

Before I get carried away by the stats, let me also analyze them when compared to a top player at a rival club:

All stats for Premier League only Fernandes (PL 20/21)De Bruyne (PL 20/21)
Passing (per 90) 
Total Pass completion %74.771.9
Key Passes3.423.81
Passes in final 3rd8.084.92
Progressive Passes9.598.25
Possession (per 90) 
Touches88.675.1
Att Pen (Touches in Opponents Penalty area)3.015.56
Receiving (per 90)  
Passes received460347
Miscontrols1.10.95
Dispossessed1.11.27
vs Dribbles(per 90) 
No of dribblers tackled0.960.79
Tkl%29.227.8
Pressures (per 90) 
Press (No of times applying pressure to opponent who’s with the ball)18.912.2
Successful Pressure %26.133.8
Blocks (per 90) 
Blocks2.471.27
Tackles + Interceptions3.291.9
Source – fbref.com

Against one of the best midfielder – Kevin de Bruyne (KDB), Bruno outperforms him this season. KDB has had a poor start to the season & it seems that he’s off his normal pace, but Bruno has kicked on after last season & grabbed the opportunity to be crowned as the best Midfielder in the league.

Bruno’s offensive, defensive stats as well his off-the-ball work (pressure, vs dribbles), is something that he’s clearly worked on & it seems to be paying off at the moment. He seems to be running off his socks every match, his work in defense, midfield as well as in the attacking third is far better than KDB.

Pe-nandes – While many rivals fans love to hate United players & United faithful will always defend one of our own, its the heated debated that has been at the core of most forums. Yes Man United got the highest penalties last season, but is Bruno only about scoring penalties?

I have compared stats of the leading penalty takers from last season as well as this season, to give us a birds eye view:

All stats for season: Fernandes Salah Vardy 
2019-20
Goals81923
Assists7105
Penalties 434
Penalties Attempted435
Per 90 mins
Goals0.610.590.68
Assists0.530.310.15
Goals – Penalties0.30.50.56
Goals + Assists – Penalties0.830.810.71
2020-21
Goals688
Assists301
Penalties 345
Penalties Attempted446
Per 90 mins 
Goals0.8211.11
Assists0.4100.14
Goals – Penalties0.410.50.42
Goals + Assists – Penalties0.820.50.55
Source: fbref.com

Lets look at some more numbers. Manchester United received 14 penalties in 2019-20, of which 10 were converted, followed by Manchester City who received 11 penalties & converted only 6 of them. This season, Leicester has received the most penalties in 9 games – 8 & have converted 7 of them.

Bruno is more than penalties, he’s the engine that this team revolves around. He starts everything & makes everyone around him tick.

Source: ESPN

Even the most talented Pogba has not been able to produce the goods consistently since his debut for the cub, speaking of which, I’d like to highlights the below crazy stat:

Source – Skysports.com

Elite Mentality – While stats can always tell you a story, a player’s mentality is what differentiates a top footballer from a good footballer. Fernandes has brought a winning mentality to the the club from day one, not just by setting an example on the pitch through skills, but also leading by example on the pitch with his selfless attitude as seen below:

Conclusion – Man United teams & players have always played with a renowned swagger, an aura which has always been the hallmark of champion players & teams. He is a true leader without the armband, an inspiring player who wears his heart on his sleeves, who pushes his teammates to do better & someone who gives it all on the pitch. Man United have unearthed a diamond, which if polished (read: used) correctly can bring them the silverware that the cabinets at Old Trafford so crave.

Bruno fan chant

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