Where Next for Bruno Fernandes?
There are fewer hotter commodities than the Portuguese international. Still, with years in the tank, Bruno Fernandes enjoyed a statistical delight of a season. Goals in every competition, assists everywhere, he’s the Sporting CP MVP, if not the entire league. I write with every confidence that come next season, Fernandes will not be a Sporting CP player.
His resume for the season speaks for itself. 20 goals in the league with 13 assists gives him 33 direct goal contributions in 32 games. That includes his hat-trick last week and this Saturday's penalty kick. Fernandes is on fire. Every club/fantasy football player should put the attacking midfielder on their respective lists.
If you believe everything you read, then you may have already assumed the transfer concerning the player and Manchester City has been finalised. Indeed the flagship City group team have been throwing their weight around as a front runner to sign the player. Joining such a successful team comes with its pleasures, yet pressures in equal measure....
A step up in class in regards to teammates to play with could stimulate further success, but the parallel quality increment also applies to the competition he will face. Add in that Manchester City have an enormous player roster, which Pep Guardiola rotates like a tombola wheel; there’s no certainty he’d be more than a cameo performer at the Etihad. The City boss reportedly monitored the player’s performance himself, which adds an allure for the player. He would get to play the highest level with Manchester City, it’s whether he is satisfied to share the job with others...
Media speculation will also suggest the Maia-born footballer is also being touted by Manchester United. The turbulent-enamoured club is in another sub-transition phase as they’ve never really emulated the success Sir Alex Ferguson delivered consistently after his retirement. Fernandes has been the antonym of inconsistency, having performed in every competition, see for yourself in his stats.
Given the humdrum about The Red Devils' midfielders: Ander Herrera is leaving while Juan Mata's contract is expiring too, Paul Pogba wants out, Alexis Sanchez isn't performing… Fernandes could come in as the new Mr Dependable, Mr Creative, Mr Goal. A trifecta personality which could put United back in with a shout for Champions League football or even silverware.
Fernandes spent five years in Italy, you’d think that he would still speak some Italian, which could set up a perfect move back to Serie A, having previously played with Novara, Udinese as well as Sampdoria. Juventus have to be interested as the trophy-vacuum; they could easily add the Portuguese in an effort to add some youth to the ranks. Blaise Matuidi is 32, but for the club’s midfielders, he’s played the most. He won’t last forever, nor will Juan Cuadrado or Sami Khedira; Both whom are the wrong side of 30.
Fernandes comes in, livens the place up with his goals, assists, as well as his youthfulness. By the same token, Napoli/Roma could see his performance data, providing Serie A’s second-best teams a reason to spend big on him in order to finally challenge Juventus for the title.
Much like the silverware-nihility that is Serie A, Primeira Liga can sometimes feel the same with Benfica winning it four times from the last five years. The triage always resembles Benfica, Porto as well as Sporting CP. In earnest, his current club is the weakest in terms of league success having won the least titles, as well as not winning it since 2002. The club’s direct rivals offer a safe haven: the same mother tongue, the same league/ability plus a better chance to win trophies. It might not be overly ambitious to stay in Portugal, but it would surely result in success.
The classic Paris Saint-Germain/Arsenal/Real Madrid trio could all be touted to sign him. The Fly Emirates contingent all have suspect midfield divisions, with either personnel leaving or poor performers by their high standards. Adrien Rabiot didn’t work out in Paris, Aaron Ramsey is off and Real Madrid just hasn't been Real Madrid. A new Galactico maybe?
Wherever the 24-year-old does end up next season, be sure to check his statistical data as he racks up the goal contributions throughout the campaign. Unless he goes to Manchester City and benched for an eternity...