Pundit claims Fernandes not a patch on Arsenal equivalent, as big criticism levelled at Man Utd man
Bruno Fernandes would not get into a Premier League team ahead of Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard in the attacking midfield role, according to Darren Bent.
Both players are featuring in the battle for the top four as the season enters its final stage. Fernandes continues to play a regular role at Manchester United, but has dropped off from his previous standards.
Last season, the Portugal international broke Frank Lampard’s record for goals in all competitions in a season from a Premier League player, hitting 28. Fernandes has hit nine goals this campaign, however, he has suffered a drop in quality alongside his team-mates.
Odegaard, meanwhile, has also contributed several goals and assists in his first full season as an Arsenal player. After impressing on loan in north London last season, the Gunners signed him permanently from Real Madrid.
He has scored five Premier League goals and set up three others, starring alongside the likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli.
However, asked by talkSPORT if he would prefer Odegaard or Fernandes in his team, former Premier League striker Bent had a clear winner.
The pundit insisted that Fernandes has yet to deliver in crucial matches for Man Utd and brought former Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart into the debate.
“Of course, he’s been a very good player for Manchester United, but I’m still waiting for him to turn up when they really need him in those big games,” Bent said.
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“Right now, I’d rather have Martin Odegaard with the way Arsenal are playing.
“I’m taking Odegaard in that role for Arsenal. He’s perfect for what Arsenal are doing right now.
“I wouldn’t swap him for Bruno. Van der Vaart at Spurs. He was better than Bruno.”
Both players will look to have a strong end to the season as their clubs eye a top-four finish.
Fernandes, Odegaard targeting big finish
In fact, Arsenal and Man Utd still have to meet at the Emirates Stadium in a defining match.
Both Fernandes and Odegaard scored in the sides’ previous clash at Old Trafford, with United running out 3-2 winners.
As it stands, Arsenal are in the driving seat to finish fourth. But, they face further matches against Chelsea and Tottenham which will also prove defining.
Stan Collymore has claimed that Arsenal’s young team will “choke” and allow Man Utd or Spurs in.