The Portuguese playmaker has outlined his personal targets for the second half of the season as he strives to get ‘better and better’
Bruno Fernandes says he wants “more goals and assists than games” in 2021, with the Manchester United star insisting he can still improve despite a stunning start to his career at Old Trafford.
Fernandes has quickly established himself as a cult hero at United since his €55 million (£41m/$67m) switch from Sporting CP on January 30.
That lofty price tag now seems like a snip for a man who has scored 25 goals in his first 42 appearances for the club, while also setting up another 15 for his team-mates.
The Portuguese midfielder inspired Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to a third-place Premier League finish last season, and his contribution has only increased at the start of the 2020-21 campaign.
The Red Devils are occupying the same position in the top-flight standings after 13 fixtures, with only five points separating them and defending champions Liverpool – who are sitting in first having played a game more.
Fernandes took his tally to nine domestic goals this term by hitting a brace in a thrilling 6-2 home win over Leeds United at the weekend, which puts him joint third in the race for the Golden Boot.
With Fernandes pulling the strings in the middle of the park, Solskjaer is being tipped to bring a frustrating trophy drought to an end in the coming months, but a talismanic figure also has some personal targets on his mind heading into the new year.
“I think, as I’ve said before, it’s easy when you play in a team like Manchester because there are so many good players around you,” Fernandes told MUTV.
“They help you to be better and I am here to help them be better. So I think, of course, numbers are really good but it is now that I need to start to improve. It will be more difficult from now and I mean difficult day-by-day and game-by-game because the players will know me better.
“Of course, I am really happy to have these numbers and, obviously, it is not easy to get to this point with these numbers but I want to do better and better, more and more. I want to finish the Premier League this season with more goals and assists than games. That would be good.”
Asked to assess his first year in Manchester, Fernandes responded: “I think the first 12 months, the 11 months for me [here], have been great. Of course, the main thing I want, I didn’t achieve, until now, is the trophies. That is clear.
“We really can do that in 2021 and, of course, I think, at the end of everything, what we did in the last 11 months was really good. I’m very happy to be here and to be part of this biggest club.”
Pressed on whether the emphatic victory against Leeds on Sunday was one of the most entertaining games he’s ever been involved in, the United talisman added: “I think yes, of course, when you score lots of goals, you are happy.
“You are not happy to concede two goals. We want to have clean sheets, of course, but I think, at the end of the day, the most important thing was that it doesn’t matter if we score six or not.
“If we score three, it was enough, 3-2 and we go home with the three points. That’s the most important thing. Of course, we want to win and we want to score goals.
“We want to show our best qualities we can but the most important thing for us, for the team, is winning. We know the fans want to see goals, skills, some magic things but the most important thing, for us, and what we need to think about, is winning.”