When Manchester United paid top dollar to Portuguese side Sporting CP Lisbon for Bruno Fernandes in January 2020, little did we know how he would settle in the Premier League. But he put those doubts aside, as he became one of the most important players at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo advised Fernandes before his Man United transfer"/>
The 26-year-old has been sensational and impressive since moving to Old Trafford in January 2020, providing 40 goals and 25 assists in about 80 plus games across all competitions since his switch from Sporting Lisbon.
Fast forward to August 2021, United doled out the cash this time for one of it's former players in the person of Cristiano Ronaldo from Italian side Juventus. The 36 year-old Portuguese returned to the club where it all began and joined up with Fernandes - who is also his teammate at international level.
Bruno Fernandes' Manchester United future"/>
It is well documented that Bruno Fernandes has struggled to combine with Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal, and there were concerns about if things would be different at United following the arrival of the five-time Champions League winner.
Ronaldo and Fernandes are yet to click at international level thus far. The pair scored 12 of the 22 goals by Portugal players during qualifying for the European Championship - Ronaldo with 11, Fernandes with one. But the two did not directly combine for a single goal. The two assists from Fernandes were for other teammates. The spark isn't there yet.
The trend continued at Euro 2020. Fernandes didn't score a single goal and registered zero assists, whereas Ronaldo finished the tournament as Top Scorer with five goals. His two goals against the Republic of Ireland secured his status as the greatest international scorer in Men's international football history.
But all that seems to be happening only on the international stage. At United, the pair have been nothing short of exciting in the 2021/2022 season.
Fernandes' visionary passes are often met with glee by Ronaldo and both have even combined for a goal - when the Red Devils lost 2-1 away to Swiss side Young Boys Bern in the UEFA Champions League. United's only goal came through a brilliant infield cross from Fernandes, with Ronaldo showing his killer instinct to tap home.
This shows that at United, Fernandes is encouraged to advance upfront and to take risks in possession. His passing is much more ambitious for Manchester United while he has been able to take fewer risks for Portugal.
The success of Manchester United's season hinges on the partnership of Fernandes and Ronaldo. Ronaldo has proven that he is a constant goalscorer and has hit the ground running with four goals in three games. The duo will surely be a huge factor as the Red Devils challenge for silverware. If both players can flourish together at club level, it will define Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's time as manager of Manchester United.
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