Bruno Fernandes can prosper in his new deeper position in Manchester United’s midfield, according to Erik ten Hag.
The Portuguese’s ability to score goals has been relied upon since his arrival at Old Trafford; in his first two and a half Premier League seasons, he scored 36 goals. He now has five, but his workload has increased significantly and is likely to go unnoticed.
Fernandes has also been given responsibility for team leadership, replacing Harry Maguire, who has had difficulty maintaining a consistent position. But, in the wake of United’s humiliating 7-0 loss to Liverpool last week, his captaincy abilities have come under scrutiny. After the dιsaster at Anfield, United legend Gary Neville criticized the former Sporting midfielder. “He said during the analysis, “I think some of his behavior in the second half has been a shame.
“The second half was a complete dιsaster and a mess. Bruno Fernandes, who has been humiliating and a mess in this game, most exemplifies them.
Following that, there were calls for him to lose his position as captain, but Ten Hag promptly ruled that out as an option. When asked if he will continue in that role, the United manager responded: “Absolutely, without a doubt. He is having a fantastic season, in my opinion, and has been crucial to our success. We all make errors, and we all grow from them. Both he and I have to learn new things.
Everyone is flawed, and mistakes are common.
He’s a smart guy. When Harry (Maguire) is out of the lineup, I’m incredibly happy he is our player and captain.”
His impressive performance in the Europa League, which was capped by a goal, confirmed his manager’s confidence. When they returned to the Premier League and faced Southampton at Old Trafford, Fernandes stayed as captain. Ten Hag thinks he has the skills to succeed with Casemiro, therefore he used him in a deeper-lying role against the Saints. Before the game, Ten Hag said, “We saw how good Bruno was behaving in that place [deeper in midfield] on Thursday night. He’s incredibly intelligent and can play that job.
“Now Fernando must perform the action once more. Bruno has a lot of energy, a lot of ground to cover, and he enjoys doing it. When we have that dynamism in the midfield, it’s challenging for opponents to defend. Bruno will occasionally show up in a deep part, but he will also occasionally show up in offensιve or creative roles.”
Once Casemiro received a straight red card during the first half of the match against Southampton, his additional responsibilities only grew. Because to the startling tackle the Brazilian made on Carlos Alcaraz, Weghorst was replaced to help stabilize the midfield by Scott McTominay.