Manchester United appear to have turned a corner in terms of their recruitment since the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and one purchase stands out amongst them all.
For years, it appeared as though the Red Devils hierarchy were playing a game of Football Manager when it came to their dealings in the transfer market.
Whenever a big name became available, such as Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao, or Bastien Schweinsteiger, United snapped them up without any consideration as to whether they would fit in the current manager’s plans.
However, after many seasons spent meandering post-Sir Alex Ferguson, the arrival of Bruno Fernandes back in January 2020 marked a new era for the English giants.
After joining the Old Trafford outfit via a £46.5m move from Sporting Lisbon, Fernandes couldn’t hide his love for the club and promised to inspire Solskjaer’s charges to silverware.
“For me to now play for Manchester United feels incredible,” said the Portugal international. “My love of Manchester United really started when I used to watch Cristiano Ronaldo play and ever since then I have been a big fan of this great club.
“I have worked hard to get to this moment, and I can promise the fans that I will give everything for the badge to help bring us more success and trophies.”
And Fernandes certainly delivered on his pledge to give everything. The now 27-year-old produced an astonishing return of eight goals and seven assists in his first 14 Premier League games for United, impressing a whole host of onlookers, including Roy Keane.
“He’s lifted everybody at the club. It’s as if he’s been there 20 years. He’s got pure quality,” claimed the Sy Sports pundit and former United legend.
“The big plus for Ole over the last year or so is that the recruitment seems to be getting better. He looks like he’s going to be a big player for United for the next few years.”
Fernandes has continued in the same vein ever since, taking his tallies up to 44 goals and 28 assists in just 90 outings for the Red Devils, an outrageous output that has seen his market value skyrocket to £81m.
There’s no doubt that United struck gold over the £180,000-per-week beast, but now he must deliver on his promise to secure a major trophy, ending the club’s longest drought in over 30 years.