Man United news: Bruno Fernandes’s elite mentality summed up by coach

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Bruno Fernandes is proof that one player can transform a football club.

Manchester United’s improvement since the Portuguese midfielder arrived from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020 has been remarkable.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were struggling badly before Bruno’s arrival but the 26-year-old’s ability and leadership qualities provided United with the boost they so desperately required.

At the time of writing - ahead of United’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace on Wednesday night - Fernandes has been directly involved in 54 goals in just 61 appearances for his current employers.

As well as scoring 34 goals, the attacking midfielder has also provided a further 20 assists for his teammates.

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Some United fans believe that Fernandes should be wearing the captain’s armband ahead of Harry Maguire.

The Portugal international is vocal on the pitch, continuously instructs his teammates during matches, demands 100 per cent effort from everyone, and never shies away from a post-match interview.

Bruno's elite mentality

But Bruno’s mentality might be even more elite than United fans realise.

BBC Sport have published a feature on United’s star man which includes fascinating quotes from his former Sporting Lisbon coach Jose Peseiro.

Peseiro describes how Bruno, unlike other players, took a keen interest in watching Sporting’s youth teams and would stay behind after training because he loves football so much.

"Normally when training finished, he'd have lunch in the club and then he would go to watch the U19s or U23s play," Peseiro revealed.

"He liked to see the matches more than the others. He wanted to see the new, young players and speak to them to learn who they are and what they are doing on the pitch. He liked too much to see football. He lives for football."

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Peseiro also revealed that Bruno, who scored 64 goals in 137 games for Sporting, is an incredible trainer.

He suspects that Solskjaer needs to tell Bruno to stop from time to time because getting him off the training pitches can be impossible.

"He wants to train too much, he wants to train more than is possible," Peseiro added. "The coach needs to say 'Bruno, stop!' because he wants to train every minute of the day.

“At the end of a training session he will want to stay out and shoot. If there is a ball there, he will want to do something whether it's before training, during training or after training. He enjoys it so much."

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The more you hear about Bruno, who earns a reported £100,000 a week, the more he sounds like a manager’s dream.

A model professional, his attitude sounds remarkably similar to that of his compatriot, Cristiano Ronaldo, who lit up Old Trafford between 2003-2009.

"In my opinion, it was a fantastic deal for Manchester United," Peseiro said. "He is not an expensive player. It's cheap if you compare the money United paid for him to the performances, the goals, the assists he has provided and how he has improved the team."

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