Joe Cole has highlighted Bruno Fernandes’ flaws and believes the Manchester United man is a “high-tariff player” that has struggled with the “pressure” this season.
Manchester United as a whole have struggled this term with Ralf Rangnick unable to improve the deficiencies that were evident under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They sit a mammoth 25 points behind leaders Manchester City and it’s argued they have gone backwards this season.
Solskajer guided United to second place last term and they ended up just 12 points behind the champions.
This season though has highlighted the gap between United and the teams competing for the title.
Fernandes, who has been criticised by Ian Wright, produced amazing stats last season. He managed 18 goals and 11 assists in 37 Premier League games. This time around he has scored just nine goals with six assists from 33 games.
And former Chelsea and England man Cole believes the Portugal international has struggled to deal with the pressure.
But unlike other United stars who have come under fire, Fernandes has escaped criticism. And he recently signed a contract extension to keep him at Old Trafford until 2026 with the option of another year.
“Bruno is what I like to call a high-tariff player,” Cole told Coral, via Metro. “He takes risks with the ball, he likes to be the player everything goes through and he’s a tremendous footballer with great technical ability.
“But I think he’s struggled with the pressure on his shoulders. The team just isn’t working this season. And I feel like Bruno operates a lot better when things are flowing through him.
F”At the moment, obviously you’ve got Ronaldo, and he becomes the pivotal point. Bruno is a rhythm player and needs things going through him and he’ll take chances. And when it doesn’t work, then I feel like he struggles.
“It highlights the other side of his game, he’s not an amazing presser, he’s not physically good. He’s like a quarterback, he needs to be dictating the play.”
One player who has managed impressive figures this season is Cristiano Ronaldo. And Cole says the 36-year-old’s 23-goal haul is even more remarkable because the team have “no cohesion””.
“Ronaldo will score goals. If you put him in front of goal in 10 years’ time, he’ll still put it away. He is just an incredible player who is no doubt one of the greatest of all time.
“There’s no cohesion at all in this Manchester United team, so the fact he is still managing to score goals is a credit to him.
“I would imagine Manchester United not winning a trophy is not good enough for him, because no matter how many goals he has scored, he’s such a winner,” Cole added.