Over the course of Premier League history, the majority of overseas signings have required time - some more than others - to adjust to the speed, intensity and quality of England’s top division.
Bruno Fernandes, however, has hit the ground running at Manchester United in quite spectacular fashion.
The Portuguese midfielder, who completed a £47 million move to Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon in January, is rapidly cementing his status as one of the best signings the Red Devils have made in years.
Fernandes produced yet another virtuoso performance for United during Saturday’s 5-2 win over Bournemouth.
He provided two assists and scored an exquisite free-kick as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side attempt to finish the season inside the top four.
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That’s now six goals and five assists in England’s top flight for the 25-year-old, who picked up the Premier League Player of the Month award for February - his debut month as a United player.
Bruno has also scored and assisted two more goals in the Europa League.
He made his debut in United’s 0-0 draw against Wolves at the beginning of February and has transformed the Premier League giants since then.
The Premier League table since Fernandes’ arrival shows that United are, in fact, top of the table based on form since Matchday 25.
During that time, Fernandes has helped inspire his new employers to six victories, three draws and zero defeats.
They boast a goal difference of +16 (20 goals scored and just four conceded) and have picked up two more points than any other club - including both Liverpool and Manchester City, who are currently down in seventh place following their surprise 1-0 defeat away at Southampton.
If Bruno can continue this level of performance over the coming weeks, months and seasons, then United have one hell of a player on their hands.
The Portugal international wears the No. 18 shirt, which was once occupied by a certain Paul Scholes.
And Scholes, speaking to United’s official website last month, is a huge fan of the gifted midfielder.
“Sometimes it just takes one player to turn a team around and knit a team together,” Scholes said.
“I don't like talking about City but you think of David Silva at Manchester City – that player [that] links all the play together, and I think we've found him in Fernandes.
“He's totally transformed the team. It's gone from watching a little bit of a dull team, to one player coming in and all of a sudden they look like they're going to create, they look like they're going to score goals every time he's in possession of the ball.”
GIVEMESPORT’s Rob Swan says…
Scholes has been openly critical of United on numerous occasions during the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era and, let’s be honest, most of the criticism has been entirely justified.
United have lacked quality midfielders in recent years - Paul Pogba aside - but the acquisition of Fernandes has been a masterstroke.
Scholes is now smiling again, and so are the rest of the Old Trafford faithful.
There’s a feel-good factor around the club following recent performances and that’s largely down to the remarkable impact Fernandes has had on the team.
He’s managed to raise the standards of those around him with his quality.
Pogba and Nemanja Matic are shining, as are the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and the hugely exciting Mason Greenwood.
Five months after his arrival and £47 million already feels like a bargain.News Now - Sport News