“He got involved with things he shouldn’t have.”
Bruno Fernandes has been a breath of fresh air at Manchester United since his arrival in January 2020.
The Portuguese playmaker has added another dimension to United’s attack and has showcased his appetite for goals with 40 in 80 appearances, including 28 last season.
Fernandes’ prowess in the final third has seen him firmly establish himself as a key player under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and United supporters will certainly hope the 26-year-old can continue in the same vein as the Red Devils search for their first trophy under the Norwegian.
Of course, given the exhausting nature of the fixture schedule as a result of the global pandemic, Fernandes showed signs of fatigue during the latter weeks of the 2020/21 season.
Indeed, he was unable to inspire United to victory in the Europa League final as Solskjaer’s side lost to Villarreal on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Gdansk.
A slight dip in form did not go unnoticed by Gary Neville, who discussed the midfielder during the build-up to Portugal’s Euro 2020 Group F encounter with Germany on ITV.
‘He was a little bit petulant’ – Neville on Fernandes
Neville explained why he would be watching Fernandes ‘closely’ during the game, with the former United right-back saying that his last couple of months of the 2020/21 season ‘weren’t good’.
Neville also suggested he hadn’t been impressed with Fernandes’ remonstrations towards referees (presumably when a decision went against United).
“I’m looking at Bruno Fernandes closely,” Neville told ITV (via Sky Sports).
“The last couple of months of the season weren’t good at United, he got involved with things he shouldn’t have, like moaning at referees.
“He was a little bit petulant and it’s a fine line because when you do that and play well, you’re seen as a leader, whereas when you’re not playing well it’s viewed negatively.
“I’m watching him to see what mood he’s in and whether he’s actually in good form because I didn’t see that in the first game.”