A stunning season in Portugal’s Primeira Liga has seen Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes become one of the hottest properties in European football, and reports suggest that Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to bring him to Old Trafford in the summer
Fernandes has the ability to play as an attacking midfielder as well as a more conventional deep-lying playmaker, and his use of the ball would be vital with the Norwegian looking to implement a more technical, possession-based style of play at Old Trafford.
As his amount of assists this season suggests, his creativity in the middle of the park would be vital with
United have been far too predictable over the last few years, but the Portuguese star would change that as he has the talent to hurt teams in many different ways.
He is able to dribble past opponents, play one-and-two touch when required while he also has excellent delivery and quality from set pieces.
With such an array of attacking weapons, Fernandes would be able to add a level of unpredictability to the United front line which would be crucial in attempting to break teams down.
The best performances of Solskjaer’s reign so far have been based on counter-attacking football, and they have struggled when tasked with attempting to beat the opposition when they have had the majority of possession due to a lack of creativity in the side.
Signing the Portuguese star could be a step in the right direction to change all that and he would be sure to make plenty of chances for his teammates if given the opportunity.
However, it is his goalscoring exploits which have made the headlines and that is what will make him such an ideal signing for United if he were to make the move from his home country.
Paul Pogba is the only midfield player at United who has reached double figures this season in goalscoring, as finding the back of the net has been a problem for the side throughout the campaign.
Just four players have more than six goals in all competitions and nobody is close to the 20-goal mark at the club, with Pogba the team’s top-scorer with 16.
If the Red Devils are to challenge for major honours they must score more goals and Fernandes would be the perfect candidate to remedy that, if he can replicate the form he has shown for Sporting during this campaign.
The Portugal international has a release clause of £86m but is believed to be available for closer to £50m which, in this market, is an excellent fee for a player with such potential.
Solskjaer is looking to bring in young, hungry players who are yet to fulfil their potential and Fernandes fits the bill, with his only major title so far being the Portuguese League Cup.
For someone with his talent, he will want that to change soon and he will bring that drive and desire to Old Trafford.
Those are attributes that appear to be missing from the current crop of footballers at United, meaning he should make a positive impact off the pitch as well as on it.
He would not come cheap and he will not be easy to get, but if United were able to bring Fernandes in this summer, they would be bringing in a player with the attributes to become a vital part of their team for years to come.