Bruno Fernandes has hit back at Jose Mourinho’s attempts to play down his Manchester United impact and a claim over their penalty count.
The Portuguese midfielder joined the Red Devils in an initial £47.3m deal from Sporting Lisbon in January.
Fernandes’ impact since moving to Old Trafford has been huge. In 22 appearances for United, Fernandes has scored 12 and assisted another eight to guide his new team into the Champions League.
In July, the former Man Utd manager told Portuguese outlet, Record, that: “Bruno came in, was fit, played very well, improved the United team. He also proved to be a great penalty taker, one of the best in the world, because he had about 20 to score.”
That said, there are some truths to Mourinho’s words.
In the 2019/20 campaign, United set a new record for penalties awarded in a single season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men were given 14 spot-kicks last season.
This beats the previous record of 13 that was held by Leicester and Crystal Palace in 2015/16 and 2004/05, respectively. Fernandes converted eight of United’s 14 spot-kicks.
The midfielder has now hit back at Mourinho’s comments in an interview with Portuguese outlet, A Bola.
Fernandes said: “I honestly did not feel stung. I feel that I am a good penalty taker and nothing more. I understand, but what I take from his [Mourinho’s] words because I’m a very positive person, is that he said I hit penalties well.
“It is a reality, not least since I arrived at Manchester United.
“I hear people saying, ‘ah, he only scores from penalty kicks’. But a little while ago, I saw the statistics. Except for penalties, only Kevin De Bruyne has a higher involvement in goals than me in England from midfield.”
Respected journalist cools Upamecano links
Bundesliga transfer guru Christian Falk has poured cold water on talk of United making a move for Dayot Upamecano.
In fact ESPN reported that Ole Gunnar Solskajer wanted a deal doing now after identifying Upamecano as Harry Maguire’s dream partner. As such, he was pushing Ed Woodward to sanction the €60m (£53.7m) transfer.
Solskjaer is believed to be looking for a new centre-back, but the RB Leipzig is not on the agenda for United.
However, Falk is adamant United are not in the running for the powerful young Frenchman.