Bruno Fernandes helped Manchester United see of the Premier League season with a victory against Fulham, scoring the winning goal with a cool finish.
It was his eighth goal of the campaign, level with his lowest league tally since the 2019/2020 season, in which he joined the club in January.
But that does not belittle his contribution under Erik ten Hag by any means, with Fernandes becoming an even more creative player under the Dutchman.
The Portugal star created six chances against Fulham, bringing his total for the Premier League season to 119, according to OptaJoe.
That is more chances created than any Manchester United player has fashioned since key pass data began being collected back in the 2003/2004 season.
Bruno has at times found himself playing a deeper role, at time a wider one. What does not change is his eye for a killer pass.
Of the 119 chances created, 32 have been big chances – passes leading to a shooting opportunity with a notably high Expected goals value, such as a one-one one with a goalkeeper or a shot from a few yards out. (SofaScore)
That is one more than Kevin de Bruyne has managed this season, and Fernandes would be justified in feeling aggrieved to have finished the campaign on only eight assists.
Indeed, the regular captain’s Expected assists stand at 10.73, meaning his teammates have squandered at least a few straightforward opportunities, and that is backed up by Man United’s overall underperformance of their own Expected goals.
Manchester United have racked up 71.9xG, but only managed to score 58 actual goals – an astonishing underperformance. (Understat)
Only Everton have been worse in front of goal, with an underperformance of 14.65 compared to The Red Devils’ 13.9. Even Chelsea are better finishers, if only by a value of 0.01.
All of this draws focus not only to the excellent work Bruno Fernandes has put in over the last ten months, but also to just how effective he can be going forward with players who can put away the chances he serves up.
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