Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Next Man Utd manager urged to build team around opinion-splitting star whose teammates ‘drive him insane’

Bruno Fernandes, Alejandro Garnacho and Jamie Redknapp

Jamie Redknapp has named the player Man Utd must build around

Whoever takes charge of Manchester United next season has been told to keep Bruno Fernandes at the centre of their project because he is immune to the ‘epidemic at the club’ of players not caring enough.

Fernandes rescued Man Utd on Saturday by equalising twice in what turned out to be a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth. He now has 12 goals for the season from 42 appearances as a result. However, his club’s form has been nowhere near the desired standard.

Manager Erik ten Hag is under intense scrutiny as co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe oversees his shake-up of club personnel. Several players could also be at risk of being cleared out.

But even if Ratcliffe and his new-look recruitment team are able to welcome in some big players in the summer, Fernandes should still be at Man Utd’s core.

That’s according to Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp, who has highlighted how the 29-year-old – despite having his detractors – differs from many of his teammates thanks to how he cares.

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“He gets a lot of stick Bruno, a lot of stick. Some of it I get. I also think it is unfair,” Redknapp explained.

“When I watch him play, I see a player that genuinely cares. There’s a frustration, and yes sometimes there is pettiness sometimes, he’s calling out his players, but if I was coming into the club or if it’s the manager Erik ten Hag if he keeps his job – he’s the sort of player you’re looking build the team around. He’s the player. He makes things happen.

“But what the frustration comes from is that I don’t think people care as much as he does. I see that as an epidemic at the club where people don’t really do enough – do they really care? Do they go flying into tackles?

“He, on the other hand, does, and I think he sometimes gets himself into situations that he probably shouldn’t.

Man Utd players don’t share Bruno’s ‘appetite’

“But I tell you what – he cares about his club, his team, he’s pulled his team back into that game [against Bournemouth].

“I just see a player that you could build the team around and I don’t see many other players that shares the same appetite that he does.

“Yeah, I get the culture. I think if you’ve got the right players around him… I get his frustration – it must drive him insane.”

Fernandes is under contract with Man Utd until 2026 and has made a total of 227 appearances, 101 of which have come under Ten Hag, for the club he joined from Sporting in January 2020.

He became captain of the club last summer when Ten Hag decided to take the armband away from Harry Maguire.

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