This summer, Bruno Fernandes was one of the many hot topics when it came to transfers. He was linked to every club under the sun from Liverpool to Man United, Real Madrid and Tottenham, and he is yet to move from Sporting CP. So many people have been left wondering who is he and what does he play like, so here is a small fact file on him.
But, first we will start with what happened to Sporting in 2018. Just before the Portuguese Cup final, 50 fans stormed the Sporting training complex and attacked several of the players, most notable Bas Dost. This was due to a number of reasons but mainly based around their chairman Bruno De Carvalho. With rumours based around him instigating the attack, the relationship between him and the players deteriorated, rapidly. After the attack he entered the locker room and several players refused to speak to him such as captain Rui Patricio and William Carvalho. With several players after also going to the police. The weekend following the attack led to the departure of several players due to them wanting to terminate their contracts. The 7 players were, Rui Patricio, William Carvalho, Bruno Fernandes, Gelson Martins as well as Ruben Riberio, Bas Dost and Daniel Pondence. This left Sporting in turmoil. The majority of these players left for pastures new such as Rui Patricio moving to Wolves, William Carvalho moving to Real Betis, Gelson Martins to Atletico Madrid and Daniel Pondence to Olympiakos. However, Bruno Fernandes and Bas Dost both reverted their decision and resigned with the club which came as a surprise. This led to Fernandes becoming club captain.
Fernandes has had a very average career as he moved around in Italy, from Novara, to Udinese and Sampdoria before finally moving to Sporting in 2017. During these periods of his career his impact on teams has not been great, until last season, which caught the eye of major clubs in Europe. He was on the incline when he moved to Sporting as in his first season he managed 16 goals and 20 assists, which resulted in links to Liverpool in the summer after. But after the World Cup and staying at Sporting, he was given the captains armband and the past season he exploded onto the scene. Last season he managed to achieve a total of 32 goals and 18 assists in 53 games, making him one of the best attacking midfielders around last season.
This has prompted more interest from clubs such as Manchester United, Tottenham and Real Madrid. All of these likely destinations seem very unlikely. This is because of the role Fernandes plays. He can either play as a second striker or central attacking midfield. At Real Madrid this is not needed as they already have Isco and Marcos Asensio who can both play the CAM role, while they do not play in a formation where they have a SS. Tottenham is also unlikely due to the club having Christian Eriksen and Giovanni Lo Celso who both have the ability to play in CAM roles as well and they had been previously linked with Paulo Dybala, and they too do not play in a formation with a SS. Finally, Manchester United seemed to show big interest in him until they dropped their interest due to his ability, as well as them focusing on Paulo Dybala. Fernandes would of fitted into United’s 4-2-3-1 as he would be able to play in the middle 3 while being flanked my Rashford and James, with Martial ahead of him. But this position then would of been filled by Dybala and then signing Fernandes would hinder the development of several United youngsters such as Mason Greenwood and Angel Gomes.
The club that would best for Fernandes would be Liverpool. This is because he provides the skills that Liverpool lack, Fernandes can play in the midfield 3 in Liverpool’s 4-3-3 and can provide the goals that they are missing, as well as being able to play as the middle centre forward once he is fully integrated into the system he can replace Roberto Firmino when he gets tired, as that role is arguably one of the most crucial in system as it creates the space for Salah and Mane to run in behind, and Fernandes would fit that role. So come Summer 2020 after the Euros, I see Fernandes playing for Liverpool.