Bruno Fernandes has today provided his take on the jibes aimed in the direction of both he and Manchester United, surrounding the club’s recent penalty record.
Following weeks of rampant speculation, attacking midfielder Fernandes of course made the move to Old Trafford on transfer deadline day in January.
And whilst there was understandable excitement surrounding his arrival, few could have predicted just how immediate Fernandes’ impact on Manchester United’s fortunes would prove.
The Portuguese international has gone on to play a starring role for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men since his arrival, having added a new dimension of guile and creativity to the club’s midfield.
All told, across 22 appearances in United’s colours, Fernandes has directly contributed to 20 goals.
Even more crucially, though, has been the fact that the former Sampdoria man’s influence also led to an upturn in results, with the Red Devils having not fallen to a single Premier League defeat since January.
💫 It’s been quite the return to football for our Portuguese magnifico! 💫
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 4, 2020
‘Did not feel stung’
One frequent criticism which (despite being largely out of his control) has been aimed in Fernandes’ direction on the back of his first half-season in England, though, surrounds the number of the midfielder’s goals which have come from the penalty spot.
It became something of a running joke across social media to poke fun at Manchester United for the frequency with which the Red Devils were awarded spot-kicks in 2019/20, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men having gone on to set a new Premier League record:
Man United have now been awarded 14 penalties this season. A new Premier League record. pic.twitter.com/OoxasnkPFP
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 26, 2020
Fernandes, lethal from 12 yards, was inevitably the main beneficiary of United’s numerous penalties over the second half of the season, a development which one high-profile individual in particular could not help but highlight late in July.
When drawn on Fernandes’ stellar impact at Old Trafford, former Reds boss Jose Mourinho made use of the opportunity to aim a less than subtle jibe at both his fellow countryman, and ex employers:
‘Bruno came in, was fit, played very well, improved the United team and also proved to be a great penalty taker, one of the best in the world, because he had about 20 to score.’
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 23: Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho looks on ahead of the Premier League match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at London Stadium on November 23, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)
As such, speaking in an interview of his own earlier today, Fernandes was asked for his take on Mourinho’s comments.
The 25-year-old, though, opted to take the high with his response, turning a blatantly negative suggestion into a positive:
‘I honestly did not feel stung, I feel that I am a good penalty taker and nothing more, I understand, but what I take from his words, because I’m a very positive person, is that he said I hit penalties well. It is a reality, not least since I arrived at Manchester United.’
‘I hear people saying, ah, he only scores from penalty kicks… But a little while ago, I saw the statistics and, except for penalties, only Kevin de Bruyne has a higher involvement in goals than me in England when it comes to midfielders.’
Quotes via A Bola
Fred has ‘no intention’ of leaving Manchester United despite Galatasaray links & van de Beek transfer
Bruno Fernandes has today provided his take on the jibes aimed in the direction of both he and Manchester United, surrounding the club’s recent penalty record. Fernandes dazzling Following weeks of rampant speculation, attacking midfielder Fernandes of course made the move to Old Trafford on transfer deadline day in January. And whilst there was understandableFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed