Bruno Fernandes: Premier League Stats And Records

The arrival of Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United in January 2020 has been the defining moment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s managerial career at Old Trafford so far. The Portuguese talisman instantly began to revive United’s 2019/20 campaign and has gone on to establish himself as one of the Premier League’s most discussed, albeit controversial, attackers. 

Picked in over 25% of Fantasy Premier League teams, the Portuguese number ten is one of the league’s most influential players both on and off the pitch, why not check out SinkorSwimSports’ take on all of Bruno Fernandes’ Premier League stats and records.

Bruno Fernandes Stats

Full name: Bruno Miguel Borges Fernandes

D.O.B: 8 September 1994 (age 27)

Place of Birth: Maia, Portugal

Previous Clubs: Novara, Udinese, Sampdoria, Sporting Lisbon CP 

Awards (Club): Taça da Liga (2017/18, 2018/19), Taça de Portugal (2018/19)

On The Brink

When Manchester United announced the signing of Bruno Fernandes for a reported £47 million on a five-year deal, the club were in dire straits. On the back of consecutive 2-0 losses against Liverpool and Burnley, the Red Devils were six points off the top four and looked well short of anything resembling consistency. 

Whilst the Norwegian had built up a reputation as being a big-game specialist with wins over Chelsea, Tottenham, and Manchester City, the team’s 9 wins, 7 draws, and 8 losses had led to a fractured dressing room and led to the Red Devils being booed off the Old Trafford pitch during the loss to Burnley. 

An Instant Impact 

Bruno Fernandes had been a long-term link to Manchester United, but few in the footballing world were expecting the Portuguese talisman to produce the kind of impact he did over the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign. 

United were long shots for a top-four place in most Premier League odds, however, the Red Devils instantly began to pick up some serious momentum on the back of Fernandes’ arrival.

Fernandes made his debut for United against Wolves on 1st February 2020 and bagged two assists and a goal in the club’s next two fixtures against Chelsea and Watford. The Portuguese talisman bagged the Premier League Player of the Month award in his first month in England. 

In his first nine appearances for United, Fernandes scored three, assisted four, and, most importantly, injected the exact sort of passion and leadership the club had been missing in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. 

On the back of Fernandes’ arrival, United looked rejuvenated during the second half of the 2019/20 season, closing out the campaign 14 games unbeaten and finishing the season in third, stunning Premier League betting markets everywhere. 

In his 14 games in the Premier League, Fernandes bagged 8 goals and 7 assists, registering a remarkable 3.27 shots and 2.23 key passes per ninety minutes, winning the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award for the season, despite only being present for half the campaign or so. 

Bruno Fernandes 2019/20 Premier League Stats

Premier League Appearances: 14

Goals: 8 

Assists: 7

Minutes Played: 1,193

Minutes Per Goal: 149 

First Full Season 

The 2020/21 campaign was Bruno Fernandes’ first full season in the Premier League, and also the one where he established himself as Manchester United’s go-to star. 

Standout performances for United included two goals and an assist in a 6-2 drubbing of Leeds, two assists and a goal in the infamous 9-0 demolition of Southampton, and a stellar performance at the Etihad against Manchester City. 

The Portuguese number ten would end the campaign as Manchester United’s top goalscorer and top assist provider, registering 18 goals and 12 assists. Fernandes would once register over 3.00 shots and 2.00 key passes per ninety minutes. Fernandes’ 3117 minutes played in the league was also the highest in the club, showcasing how reliant Solskjaer and co. are on their talisman in the number ten. 

However, there were a number of criticisms thrown in the direction of Bruno Fernandes throughout the season that are still bandied about by fans up and down the land. Tags like ‘Penandes’ and criticisms about ghosting some of the biggest games of the season are always served up whenever Fernandes is brought up, and it is certainly true that United are amongst the league’s top recipients of penalties and fouls against since the Portuguese international arrived in England. 

Bruno Fernandes 2020/21 Premier League Stats

Premier League Appearances: 37

Goals: 18 

Assists: 11

Minutes Played: 3,108

Minutes Per Goal: 173 

Overreliance 

Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United have become a team known for relying on some of their collection of star players to win matches. The Norwegian has often relied on a defensive midfield pivot of Scott McTominany and Fred and employed a deep-lying defensive line in his 4-2-3-1 formation. 

Despite finishing the season in second place, United only averaged 55% possession, won more penalties than any other side with 11, and averaged just 2.92 goals and assists per ninety during the 2020/21 campaign. The side’s xG haul of -9.83 was better than what they were expected to score, and their xPTS tally of -8.36 was the biggest overperformance of any side in the division. 

All of these trends have continued into the 2021/22 season, with United only registering 119 shots compared to Manchester City’s 126 and Liverpool’s 149, however the team’s shot on target percentage of 33% is comfortably ahead of both of those. Manchester United are also second in the league for positive xGs this season, scoring -3.2 more goals than what their attempts should have yielded, only behind Chelsea on -3.6. 

An Overperforming Talisman

These stats not only show that Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hold less of the ball and create fewer chances than most of the teams around them, but also showcase the exact kinds of pressures and performances the likes of Bruno Fernandes are outputting. For Fernandes to be up with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish, Mohammed Salah, and Mason Mount, despite effectively having one hand behind his back most games, makes his Premier League stats even more impressive.

The reliance Solskjaer and United have on Fernandes is undeniable, however, the overperformance the Portuguese forward has shown during his time in England is nothing short of remarkable. Couple this with the leadership qualities and passion Fernandes shows on the pitch, and there’s no doubt Burno Fernandes is one of the Premier League’s most overperforming talismanic figures right now.