Coach warns Man United over player making greater impact than Ronaldo

Date published: Wednesday 3rd March 2021 5:00 - Neil Foster

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Bruno Fernandes’ former coach feels he is ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in his Manchester United development but warned him not to overtrain.

Fernandes, 26, arrived at Old Trafford in January 2020 and made an immediate impact. The Portugal international breathed fresh life into an ailing team and provided the missing spark in midfield.

He scored 12 goals during the second half of last season and already has 22 to his name this term. The former Sporting ace’s contribution has helped propel the Red Devils to second in the top-flight standings.

The title may be beyond them, with Manchester City so far ahead, but a top-four spot beckons. Fernandes is now a crucial part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

He has provided 17 assists since arriving at the Theatre of Dreams and has bagged 15 league goals in 2020-2021. All at the club hope he stays fit but his obsession with football might be a problem.

Sporting coach Jose Peseiro has lifted the lid on his training regime and warned United to keep him in check.

“He wants to train too much, he wants to train more than is possible,” he told the BBC. “The coach needs to say, ‘Bruno, stop!’ because he wants to train every minute of the day.

“At the end of a training session, he will want to stay out and shoot. If there is a ball there, he will want to do something whether it’s before training, during training or after training. He enjoys it so much.”

Better than Ronaldo?

Fernandes has followed a similar path to his compatriot, with Ronaldo joining United from Sporting in 2003. It took him a while to show his true colours.

But 49 league goals across his final two seasons proved he was the real deal. The rest is history, with the Portugal captain going on to great things with Real Madrid and now Juventus.

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It remains to be seen if Fernandes can emulate his national skipper, but Peseiro feels he currently loses nothing in comparison.

“He is not an expensive player,” he added. “It’s cheap if you compare the money United paid for him to the performances, the goals, the assists he has provided and how he has improved the team.

“Even Ronaldo was not the same – when he arrived at United he needed more time. I think everyone has to be proud – I am not talking as a friend but as a Portuguese and a fan of football.”

 

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