The winners and losers of Bruno Fernandes at Manchester United

A true talent

Manchester United are on the verge of signing Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon after what has been a long year of rumours and dreaming for United fans. In truth, the Fernandes saga was beginning to look very Wesley Sneijder-esque, however, the deal is set to be concluded after Sporting Lisbon host Benfica this Friday, according to respected Portuguese journalist Goncalo Lopes.

It is no surprise that Sporting want to keep hold of Fernandes for the Benfica clash, as he remains their most valuable asset and already boasts an almighty 15 goals in 25 games for his club. This sensational record from midfield is matched with his creativity in 13 assists and respectable leadership qualities, as he dons the club's armband.

In truth, there are not many better goalscoring midfielders around Europe right now, considering he also bagged 20 league goals and 13 assists last season and 11 goals and 10 assists in Liga NOS the season prior.

Solskjaer's desperation

Jose Mourinho has made it clear since his departure from United that he was never backed in the market. However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been able to construct an expensive wish list, with Fernandes one of the names at the top.

Solskjaer has seen the likes of Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini depart, most likely because he was promised names in return. Now, the United boss is undoubtedly the biggest winner if this transfer goes through.

Indeed, only time will tell if Paul Pogba will leave Old Trafford, but should the Frenchman go, Solskjaer will perhaps have an even better goalscoring name within his midfield. In truth, options have dried up for the United boss in the centre, with the likes of Andreas Pereira and Nemanja Matic having to come in, despite their questionable form.

Although, should Fernandes put pen to paper, the Norwegian will finally have another star name to throw in.

Where does this leave Pogba?

Pogba is the grandest definition of an enigma in football. We constantly talk about the elite midfielder's departure, when in reality, he could well be with United until the end. However, if the Sporting star moves to Manchester, it may well spell the end for Pogba.

In the midfield, the former Juventus man has been looked at for creativity and certainly for goals in an uninspiring midfield. Now, with the addition of Fernandes, Pogba's place within the side could be called in question, should he be pushed back for this goalscoring machine.

Of course, Pogba is one of the best around on his day. Although, looking back on his career, his glory days were as he donned the number 10 shirt for Juventus and joined in with the attacks. Should he be forced to play more defensively alongside the Portugal international, his chances to shine again may well be dealt a big blow.

Fred's rejuvenation cut short?

Solskjaer has not got many things right at United, but certain things like the signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the breakthrough of Mason Greenwood have been all but perfect ideas. Although, Fred has been another man who has been entirely restructured under Solskjaer - something Mourinho failed miserably at.

The Brazilian has struggled for much of his time at United, since he signed for £47m in 2018. However, now we are seeing Fred as one of United's main midfield options and as one of the first names of the teamsheet.

At 26 years old, we are finally starting to see what the midfielder can bring to United, with his clever movement and bright footballing brain. However, with Fernandes and Pogba probably guaranteed starters, and with the form of Scott McTominay, Fred could well be back on the bench very soon.

A shame for a man who has only just started to find his feet. But, if United are to continue with their midfield three, it is hard to see Fred start once McTominay and Pogba return alongside Fernandes.

The end for Juan Mata

Juan Mata has been arguably Manchester United's best servant post-Sir Alex Ferguson. Whilst players such as Pogba and Martial have struggled with consistency and the likes of Ibrahimovic only lasted a season, Mata has rarely had a bad game.

Over the last few seasons, the Spaniard's legs have started to slow down, but his creative brilliance - as proven with his two assists against Norwich City last week - remains very respectable. However, if Fernandes joins the club, Mata may find his minutes on the pitch get even lower than they already are, ultimately forcing him out the door.

The former Chelsea man has been an incredible signing for United and he will always be remembered at Old Trafford. But now might be the time for him to move on, should Solskjaer secure Fernandes' signature.

The team can only get better

As mentioned, McTominay has been in magnificent form this season and instrumental to Solskjaer's side. Whilst the likes of Pogba and Fernandes are more attacking players, McTominay will continue to bring solid, unrivalled defensive stability to United's midfield.

With the addition of the Sporting star, Solskjaer may finally be able to craft a versatile and valuable midfield to match his impressive front three.

Plus, as the likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood keep scoring, the creative nature of Fernandes will only benefit their goalscoring abilities. Ultimately, the team can only get better.


🚀 £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU PLACE A £5 BET 🚀
New customers only. First single & e/w bet only. Odds of 1/1 or greater. 2 x £10 bet tokens. Free bet stakes not included in returns. Free bets exclude virtuals. Free bets are non withdrawable. No free bet expiry. Eligibility restrictions. Further t&cs apply. 18+. Begambleaware.org
Claim Bonus
🟧 BET £10 & GET 7X £5 FREE BETS TO USE ON ANY PREMIER LEAGUE GAMES 🟧
New customers only • £/$/€10 deposit using promo code • Minimum stake £/$/€10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) • Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free bet stakes not included in returns • Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. withdrawal, payment methods, and country restrictions & full full T&Cs apply • 18+
Claim Bonus
⚽️ UP TO £50 MONEY BACK AS CASH IF ANY OF YOUR FIRST 5X £10 FOOTBALL BETS LOSE ⚽️
Place 5x£10 Single Sportsbook bets on any Football market at minimum odds of 2.0 (Evs) between the 18th and 31st January, and get money back as Cash if it loses. Max refund per qualifying bet is £10 (up to £50 in total). Only deposits made via Cards will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
🔴 BET £10 & GET £30 IN FREE BETS! ⚫️
New customers only. Place a £10 fixed odds bet min odds 1/2, 2 x £10 free bets & 2x free spread bets. Free bets awarded on consecutive days. Full t&c’s apply.
Claim Bonus
♥️ GET £40 FREE PLAY PLUS A £10 FREE SPORTS BET! ♥️
1st time depositors only. Min. deposit £10. Use code FAPOKER. Free Play given as cash, Spin & Go tickets, and a Sports Free Bet over 6 days. Tickets expire after 24 hours. Withdrawal restricted during bonus period. Terms apply.
Claim Bonus
⚪️ Get £40 FREE BETS when you bet £10 (mobile only) ⚪️
New customers who register via Mobile only, min £10/€10 stake, win only, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 4 x £10/€10 (30 day expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply
Claim Bonus
⚽️ £40 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU PLACE A £10 BET ON FOOTBALL ⚽️
Place a £10 Sportsbook bet on any Football market between January 7th - February 6th, at min. odds 1/2 (1.5) — get £40 in free bets, valid 30 days. Your qualifying bet must settle before 23:59 February 6th. Only deposits via Cards will qualify. Free bets will be awarded after the qualifying bet has been settled. T&Cs apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
⚽️ £60 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU PLACE A £10 BET ON FOOTBALL ⚽️
Place a £10 bet on football (Jan 7 - 15), at min. odds 1/5 (1.2) — get £60 in free bets. £40 free bets will be awarded after the qualifying bet has been settled and £20 free bet the following day. Only deposits via cards will qualify, Apple pay not valid on this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔥 ✅ BET £10 & GET £60 IN FREE BETS! ✅ 🔥
New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+). First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔥 BET £10 ON ANY SPORT & GET £20 IN FREE BETS 🔥
18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit,: £10, max £20 free bets valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. begambleaware.org.
Claim Bonus
🤩 BET £10 AT MANSION BET AND GET A £10 FREE BET 🤩
New customers only. Min deposit and bet £10 (£20 if E/W bet) from UK debit card only. Min odds evens (1/5 per leg in multi selection). £10 Free Bet vaild for 7 days, stake not returned, no Cash Out, max winnings £5k. T&C’s apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus

🏆 Money Back as CASH up to £20 if your first bet loses! 🏆
New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟢 Bet £10 & Get £50 in free bets! 🟡
Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
GET A £30 MATCHED FREE BET IF YOUR FIRST FOOTBALL ACCA LOSES!!!! 🙌🙌🙌
New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ BeGambleAware.org Full terms apply. 18+.
Claim Bonus
🌟 Bet £5 & get £30 in bonuses! 🌟
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus