boss Erik ten Hag has defended Bruno Fernandes after the playmaker came in for criticism over his form for the club this season.
The Portuguese playmaker has started every single Premier League match for the Red Devils this term and he’s been playing in his favoured no.10 position.
Fernandes has been a revelation since his £47m arrival from Sporting Lisbon, scoring 51 times in 139 matches for the Red Devils.
However, Fernandes’ goal contributions have dried up so far this term with the midfielder scoring once and providing two assists in all competitions
With Christian Eriksen excelling in midfield but lacking the defensive capabilities of Scott McTominay and Casemiro, many have called for the Dane to play ahead of Fernandes in tighter matches.
But Ten Hag has defended Fernandes’ form and says the Portuguese’s contribution boils down to more than just goals and assists.
‘I think Bruno is playing really good this season, so I can see in that fact, he can produce more, goals, assists,’ said Ten Hag.
‘But I think he’s often in the line of the goal and he’s playing a massive role in a lot of moments of football for us.
‘In building up attacks, creativity, movement, but also in transitions, in both sides, in the defensive transitions he’s magnificent and doing a really good job so I’m really happy with his performances.’
Fernandes was skipper for Sunday’s draw against Newcastle, with Harry Maguire still missing through injury.
Ten Hag says he’s been impressed with the midfielder’s leadership skills since taking charge.
‘That’s also one of the things [he’s impressed me with], I think he’s really an example,’ said the Dutchman.
‘The way he transfers the way of play from us, how he motivates around him, how he is the example, so the energy he gives to the team, that’s really good and so I’m happy with his performance.
‘I know it will come, his goals and assists, and it will be even more.’
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