Paul Parker is concerned that Bruno Fernandes is making enemies among his Manchester United team-mates with his on-pitch behaviour.
Fernandes, 27, looked at his best when running the United show as they drew 2-2 with Aston Villa on Saturday. He has not always shone this term, however, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s return seemingly cramping his style at times. From being top dog, the Portuguese has had to play second fiddle to his illustrious compatriot.
And he has even been accused of passing to Ronaldo too much during the current campaign. However he remains a talented player and one that interim boss Ralf Rangnick hopes will propel the side into the top four.
They are currently five points behind fourth-placed West Ham but have two games in hand. But former United defender Parker has noticed a worrying trend in Fernandes’ conduct that could drive a wedge between himself and his colleagues.
“Fernandes is a concern for me,” he told Talk of the Devils podcast. “Just watching him and the way he portrays himself on the pitch, I’m sure there are players within that squad that don’t like him and what he does on that pitch.
“He brings too much attention to everything while he puts in a bad tackle and he’s telling people to get up. He gets tackled himself and he rolls around, and he wants to show he’s got a nick on his sock or something.”
Fernandes accused of lack of respect
Fernandes has been a revelation since arriving at Old Trafford in January 2020. The former Sporting ace has bagged 47 goals from 106 appearances in all competitions.
He has found the net seven times this term. But Parker feels an incident with Villa striker Ollie Watkins highlighted an unsavoury side of his character.
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“Watkins tried to help him up the other day. He’s a lovely lad, no malice in him,” he added. “He felt he didn’t do anything and he tried to get him up, wasn’t rude to him and he (Fernandes) pushes his arms up into his face and was very disrespectful to him. All that adds a bit.”
Fernandes getting above his status
Reports that the Portugal international has rejected United’s latest contract offer have now surfaced. He is said to be unhappy at his wages being below the likes of Ronaldo and David de Gea.
But Parker believes Fernandes should be grateful that the Red Devils took a punt on him in the first place.
“Where are you going to go?” he continued. “Where have you been prior to coming to Man United where you have had all this around you?
“No one out there really wanted him. United have grabbed hold of him. I can understand why other clubs haven’t gone to him, I think there is a little bit about him personally that has maybe kept people away.
“Because when you look at him as a footballer you ask, ‘why has he not played for these big clubs around Europe?’
“United have grabbed hold of him and made a career out of him.”