How Manchester United can line-up with Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes has all but agreed his move to Manchester United. After close to a year of rumours and speculation, United have finally agreed to match Sporting Lisbon’s valuation of the midfielder in a deal that could reach £67million.

Manchester United fans have been clamouring for this transfer in abundance as they believe he could transform their club’s fortunes. As a hybrid between a #8 and #10, Fernandes’ creativity will be a massive boost to the Red Devils’ top 4 hopes. Bear in mind these potential formations are based on a fully fit squad.

Here’s how Manchester United could line-up with Bruno Fernandes.

4-3-3

Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, McTominay, Pogba, Greenwood, Fernandes, Martial, Rashford.

The arrival of Bruno Fernandes offers a number of potential mouth-watering options in midfield for United. The Portuguese international’s versatility means he can make most pairings or combinations work. He has the ability to not just play in different positions, but various tactical roles too. A midfield three of Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes offers creativity, work rate, controlled passing and intricate link-up play.

Such a combination would require McTominay to play the deepest role as he offers the least going forward out of the trio. The Scotsman is limited in the build-up but excels when it comes to physical attributes, so Ole could play him to strengths and have him shield the back four. With Pogba, we know his passing range, explosive bursts and long shots are all exceptional, allowing him to best operate in the box to box role.

Pogba would be the one to dictate the tempo of United’s passing, as well as being the one to initiate counter-attacks. This would leave Fernandes in his best position, just behind the striker. Whenever Manchester United are playing against low-block defences, Fernandes’ close control and tendency to play intricate one-twos would help break down these defences, as long he’s allowed to free roam in the space behind the striker. Fernandes’ inclusion in the side relieves creative duties off the shoulders of Pogba, who could instead create chances from deep while Fernandes takes on responsibility in the final third.

4-2-3-1

Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, McTominay, Pogba, Greenwood, Fernandes, Martial, Rashford.

Such is the versatility of the 25-year-old, he’s just as comfortable playing in a pivot as a three. Fernandes has the ability to adapt his traits to do what’s demanded of him in different setups. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have the option to play Bruno in the pivot of a 4-2-3-1 or as the #10. For Sporting, he has severally interchanged between being the deep-lying dictator or advanced playmaker.

On paper, Fernandes is more creative than Pogba, so it’d make more sense for him to play advanced and allow Pogba to sit closer to the halfway line. This gives United the arsenal to attack teams with a variety of creative sources, thus not making them predictable or solely reliant on one player.

On paper, the attributes Bruno Fernandes possesses will help take United to the next level. Let’s just hope he’s another Naby Keita.

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