Bruno Fernandes arrived at Manchester United pretty much at the end of January 2020 and his impact at the way this team plays was immediate. It was something many did not expect, but it was exactly Man United needed. Not necessarily from Fernandes, but from their signings – to have enough quality to be able to immediately improve the team. That is what Man United have been in need of for years now. Fernandes brought that and improved those around him.
Man United started playing better and especially after Project Restart, making a run of results that was enough for them to finish third in the Premier League, although with the same amount of points as the season before, when they finished sixth. But let’s take a look at the numbers Fernandes has been able to make throughout the 2020 at Old Trafford, including the last season and this new one as well.
Bruno Fernandes Is Overperforming Underlying Metrics
Since his arrival at Old Trafford, Bruno Fernandes has played 21 matches in the Premier League, all of them being starts. He managed to get 1755 minutes on the pitch, which is basically 19.5 matches he actually played. During that time, he scored 13 goals and added 10 assists, bringing his tally to 23 goal contributions. Looking at those numbers per minutes played, Fernandes has been adding 1.18 goal contributions per 90 minutes, which is an incredible turnout.
Things get a little bit different when we know that Fernandes has scored six of those 13 goals from the penalty spot – that is also great, he missed just one shot from 12 yards, but is also a part of the game we cannot continue relying upon too much. That is why Bruno has been overperforming his 0.46 expected goals per 90. His 0.20 expected assists are also lower than what he managed to do on the pitch. It might not be easy for him to keep it up at such a high level.
Fernandes’ shooting has not been ideal, since his average distance of shots is at 23.5 yards away from goal. Rashford’s, for example, is around 18.2, which is much better, giving him a better chance of scoring. In fact, Bruno’s 13 goals came from 57 shots. If you exclude penalties, that is six goals from 50 shots. He will need to get into better positions on average if he is to continue scoring plenty of goals.
Fernandes has created 53 key passes at Man United so far, which works at around 2.72 key passes per 90 minutes. But those shots coming after his passes often come from tough positions as well. His expected assists of just 4.0 across 21 appearances paint the story quite well. Fernandes is good at pressing though. As an attacking midfielder playing in a team without a good pressing overall, he is making 19.59 pressures per 90 with a high success rate of 24.6 per cent. His dribbling rate is exactly 50 per cent, making 20 successful dribbles from 40 attempts. He is attempting many high risk moves, but in the end – he has become too important individually for the way Man United play. Sometimes, that is not ideal, when the opposition teams manage to stop him.