What will Bruno Fernandes bring to Manchester United?
With Manchester United seemingly extremely close to completing the transfer for Bruno Fernandes, it is important to note what the £48 million Portuguese star will add to the current United side.
Fernandes has become one of the most sought after attacking midfielders in Europe, and with United's lack of consistent players in that position, with Jesse Lingard underperforming constantly, Paul Pogba's future being unclear, Andreas Pereira not having the quality to be a starter, and with Juan Mata not getting any younger, United fought much more to get the man in.
Whilst Sporting have had a relatively poor season, Bruno Fernandes has scored eight goals and provided seven assists in 17 Liga NOS appearances this season. Yes this might be in a league that is arguably less competitive than the Premier League, his direct goal-involvements will come as a saving grace for United, with none of United's attacking midfielders having anywhere near that output in the league this season.
Bruno Fernandes' cutting edge is probably the most important ability that he will be bringing United, with the team struggling to break teams that decide to stay back against them, mainly due to their lack of creativity. Bruno Fernandes' rate of key passes per game of 3.7 is superior to Andreas Pereira's 1.4, Jesse Lingard's 1 and Juan Mata's 1.1 in their respective leagues.
Bruno Fernandes also mustered 3.5 shots per game, which is relatively high compares to the other United midfielders, who have been reluctant to take shots from outside of the box and in other areas this season.
What is even better for Manchester United is that Fernandes gives Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the chance to deploy him in deeper roles as well, with him doing so in the past for Sporting. In fact, he has averaged 2.3 tackles every game, a great stat for someone that is so attacking-minded.
Irrespective of the fee, Bruno Fernandes will be a great signing for United, and we might get to see him this weekend, with them welcoming Wolves at Old Trafford in the Premier League.