Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes have a combined tally of 18 goals and 11 assists so far this season
Former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen has said Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes tends to be overdependent on Cristiano Ronaldo since the latter moved to Old Trafford. Gudjohnsen believes that Fernandes is constantly seeking out his Portuguese counterpart in matches, to the detriment of his gameplay.
Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford last summer, nine years after his first stint at United. Fernandes and Ronaldo were mutually influential in each other’s moves to the Theatre of Dreams with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner recommending Old Trafford as a destination for the former Sporting Lisbon captain.
Gudjohnsen told news media outlet MBL that Fernandes’ insistence on picking out the 36-year-old forward causes impatience and frustration when he cannot find his target.
The ex-Chelsea striker said: “It’s as if Fernandes was always looking for Cristiano Ronaldo. Nine out of ten times, he tries to find Ronaldo and if this doesn’t work, he gets impatient and begins to try very difficult things. Bearing in mind the way he began at United, we want to see much more of him.”
Former England midfielder Paul Merson also attested to Fernandes’ reduced impact at Manchester United, suggesting that the arrival of Ronaldo has shifted the focus from the former Sporting man to the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“When you lose confidence it doesn’t matter who you are – we all lose confidence – it’s a different game. He’s not touching the ball in the game now, he’s not touching it 60, 70 or 80 times,” Merson explained.
“Everything went through Fernandes, everything. It’s not that case now, everyone’s looking for Ronaldo now. This needs to change.”
Ronaldo has scored 13 goals and provided two assists in 19 matches so far this season while Fernandes has registered five goals and nine assists in 22 games during the 2021/22 season. Both players remained crucial components of Ralf Rangnick’s new-look United side and will be expected to shine under the German tactician.