Expectations for Bruno Fernandes were sky high when he arrived at Manchester United.
The 26-year-old Portuguese international donned comparisons to Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo before he even stepped a foot onto the Old Trafford pitch.

Fernandes was acquired last January in the midst of a brutal United skid that saw them lose to Burnley at home.

Things were looking dire for the Red Devils and Fernandes was expected to be their savior. And, boy, was he.

A year later, Man United sit top of the Premier League table, two points ahead of their biggest rival Man City. Fernandes leads the club in both goals and assists, solidifying himself as the team’s leader both on and off the pitch.

There may be better players than Fernandes in the league, however, none are more valuable.

When looking at a player’s overall value, you have to start with their value to the club. The stats alone show Fernandes’ value to Man United.

Since he was signed, United have the most points in the Premier League, even more than titleholders Liverpool.

Photo: Getty Images

Last season, Man United got off to their worst start in their league history. Fernandes helped turn things around and United managed to sneak into the top 4. He directly contributed to half of Man United’s goals over the course of 2020 as a stalwart in the midfield. Many of his goals do come from the penalty spot but I don’t really understand why that fact is often used to diminish his game by critics.

Fernandes is still dominant in open play, particularly on the counter-attack. If United is going to make a strong title push towards the end of this season they are going to need Fernandes to continue his stellar form.

Another reason why Fernandes is the most valuable player in the Premier League is because of the way he has changed the culture within Man United’s locker room.

As I mentioned earlier in the article, United were in disarray when Fernandes arrived. They were on the brink of total collapse under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Their play lacked energy and conviction and goals were hard to come by, a rarity for any Man United side. Fernandes not only helped score some goals but also instilled some of his experience into the young United squad.

A lot of people forget that Fernandes is 26, with experience across all levels of competition. Along with his brilliant play comes a player who knows what it takes to win and has the leadership ability to keep the locker room together. For example, when fellow midfielder Paul Pogba was struggling to make the starting 11 back in November, Fernandes went so far as to say he’d change his position in order to ensure his teammate stayed happy. Fernandes and his willingness to sacrifice for the greater good of the team has kept Man United together during this turbulent season.

Man United needed a savior and they got one in Bruno Fernandes. Rarely do players live up to the hype they receive upon signing with a new club.
Fernandes has exceeded the lofty expectations placed on him and in my mind, is the most valuable player in the Premier League.

Featured Image: Getty Images
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