Bruno Fernandes puts Marcus Rashford and Man Utd team-mates to shame
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Bruno Fernandes’ incredible injury record highlights his importance to Manchester United and is a key attribute that goes under the radar in football. The Red Devils midfielder puts his team-mates to shame regarding availability, playing in his favour when Erik ten Hag selects his next captain.
Fernandes has essentially become United skipper this season after Harry Maguire’s drop down the pecking order at Old Trafford.
But the 28-year-old’s leadership qualities are just one aspect of his right to the armband, with his goal contributions and unmatched availability also significant factors.
According to Transfermarkt’s records, Fernandes has missed just two days of action since joining United from Sporting CP in January 2020.
The Portugal international is yet to miss a prolonged period through injury, absent for just one game in March 2022 through illness.
Sickness ruled him out of United’s 3-2 home victory against Tottenham Hotspur, courtesy of a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick, but he has been available for selection in every other game since his arrival in England.
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Frustrating injury issues haven’t helped the club’s woes in recent years, with crucial players missing large chunks of time.
Marcus Rashford has finally overcome an array of problems, mainly with his shoulder, to produce the best form of his career under Ten Hag.
Anthony Martial is another who it’s felt has missed more games than he’s been in contention for since signing for United in 2015.
The same records as Fernandes’ data show that he has missed 65 games in total, excluding his current spell on the sidelines.
Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw and Edinson Cavani are other recent examples of players United haven’t particularly been able to rely on.
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Fernandes has been the heart of the 20-time English champions under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ralf Rangnick and Ten Hag.
He’s registered 56 goals and 45 assists in 155 appearances in all competitions, tallies largely unmatched across Europe’s top leagues in the same period.
Like Rashford, the No 8 has rediscovered his mojo since the World Cup break, recording at least one goal contribution in all but one of his last seven games.
And he’s the nailed-on favourite to become United’s permanent captain if Maguire departs as expected at the end of the season.
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