EPL

Fernandes signs new contract: The data that highlights Portugal star's importance to Man Utd

By Sports Desk April 01, 2022

Bruno Fernandes has signed a new deal with Manchester United to stay at Old Trafford for at least the next four years.

The 27-year-old has more than justified United's initial outlay of £47million (€55m) to sign him from Sporting CP two years ago, even if his form has dipped this campaign.

Fernandes was already tied down until the end of 2024-25, though his new contract – on substantially higher wages – is considered a reward for his performances.

He has signed until June 2026, with the option for another year on top of that.

And while uncertainty remains over the managerial position at Old Trafford, whoever is in charge from next season can build around Fernandes.

Here, Stats Perform looks at just how important Fernandes has been for United over the past two years.


UNITED'S GO-TO GUY

Fernandes' debut for United was nothing to write home about, with the Portugal international unable to inspire his side in a goalless Premier League draw at home to Wolves.

That run-out on February 1, 2020 was the first of 117 United appearances for Fernandes, which is the most of any player during this time, followed by Harry Maguire (105).

Fernandes has also started more games (106) for the Red Devils in the same period and played more minutes (9,470) than anyone else.

Indeed, no player has featured as often as Fernandes in Europe's top five leagues over that timeframe when taking all competitions into account.

CREATOR-IN-CHIEF

Fernandes has scored 49 goals for United and assisted 39, with those 88 direct goal involvements almost double that of next-best Marcus Rashford (46) within the Red Devils ranks.

In fact, the former Sampdoria star is in esteemed company as only five others have scored and assisted more in all competitions among teams from Europe's top five leagues.

He leads the way in that regard among Premier League players, closely followed by Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (86 goal involvements).

The 302 chances created by Fernandes since arriving at United is more than any other player from the elite leagues, with Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller (286) next on the list.

SHINING LIGHT IN DISAPPOINTING CAMPAIGN

Fernandes unsurprisingly leads the way among United players for goals (35), assists (25) and chances created (201) in the Premier League in his time at Old Trafford.

That form has helped Fernandes to four Player of the Month awards in the competition, level with Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes, and a tally bettered by only six others.

Each of those awards came in 2020, though, and the Portuguese playmaker's attacking figures this season are down on the past two campaigns.

He is contributing to 0.58 goals per 90 minutes in the Premier League this term, compared to 0.87 last season and 1.13 in his first half-season at Old Trafford.

Yet even in what has been a slightly underwhelming campaign, Fernandes is creating more chances on average (2.96 per game) than any player on United's books to have started a Premier League game this season.

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