Fernades had a topsy turvy game against Wolves. He was appointed in the BBC Sport Team of the Week and he impressed the United loyal with just how involved he was. He tried 86 moves and he had well over 100 touches. No participant could match the five shots he tried while Fernandes managed the identical quantity of attempts on goal (three) as Diogo Jota and Raúl Jiménez combined.
Manchester United’s Twitter account explained the 25-year-old’s functionality as lively. However, it was far from ideal and it no doubt gave Ole Gunnar Solskjær a lot to consider heading into the miniature winter break.
In his post-match seminar, Solskjaer praised his most recent signing while using a subtle dig at his forward when talking to Sky Sports: “We got Bruno deeper onto the ball for us. I felt we controlled the first half also. In the second half, we threatened a little bit longer. I think the ground staff should have moved the target slightly to the right.
“Bruno is a leading player. It is the first game. First half everyone has been getting the ball into feet and Bruno is among those that, when he puts it into toes, he needs players moving in front of him and we did not move enough in front of him. We moved him farther back to get him on the ball more. He will be a top, top accession.”
There’s some truth to what Solskjaer stated. Occasionally, the motion ahead of Fernandes was not the best. And this is exactly what the Norwegian will need to fix in the long term if United’s new No.18 will be a success at Old Trafford.
He might have threaded a pass into Martial, who then had a chance to pass into space for James to assault.
These moves may not have paid off but groups need players to take from 35 yards out. It tends to be a waste of ownership and this is what occurred against Wolves. United would have the ball in great places and then Fernandes would forfeit it.
Perhaps he wished to create an impression in his first outing for the Red Devils. Perhaps it’s something else altogether.
While his highlight reels from Sporting revealed lots of stunning long-range attempts, Fernandes prospered when he managed to assault the penalty area without the ball. In reality, nine of the last ten goals for Sporting came within the penalty area.
Since then he had struck up an understanding with Luiz Phellype. The two strikers are target men who fell deep to keep possession and make space for Fernandes to assault.
Against Wolves, Fernandes did not possess one touch in the playground. For Sporting he had been averaging four (per 90). He was also averaging only 80 touches for the Portuguese giants while on his debut for the Red Devils he handled 110. By viewing more of the ball, he is moving farther away from what made him influential in Portugal.
It’s one to watch over the coming months but unless Solskjaer can replicate the attacking system Fernandes thrived in while playing for Sporting, they may have trouble getting the most out of this 25-year-old. If he’s the person who must adapt his game then he will be a bit of an unknown and the £50million danger turns into an even larger bet.