Only Lionel Messi is above Bruno Fernandes but Christian Eriksen can help him reach next level, says Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand
- Portuguese starring for Red Devils
- Talismanic presence at Old Trafford
- Can raise his game even further
WHAT HAPPENED? The odd question was asked of Portugal international playmaker Fernandes last season and through the early stages of the 2022-23 campaign as the Red Devils struggled for consistency as a collective. The 28-year-old has, however, remained a talismanic presence for United – with Erik ten Hag dropping him into a deeper role at times this term – and he now boasts 60 goals and 52 assists through 175 appearances for Premier League heavyweights after starring once again in a 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest.
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WHAT THEY SAID: United legend Ferdinand says Fernandes is one of the very best in the business, telling his Vibe with FIVE YouTube channel: “His passing, he's creating chances. His stats, only Messi rivals him in terms of goal involvements since he signed for United. I'm not saying he is on Messi's level, no one is saying that Bruno is on Messi’s level, he's not. But only Messi is above him in those stats. He needs [Christian] Eriksen to get to that other level. Eriksen the amount of easy passes he makes that are just great for team-mates.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Eriksen has been a revelation for United since joining as a free agent in the summer of 2022, with his comforting presence in the middle of the park missed when taking in an enforced absence with an ankle injury.
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WHAT NEXT? Danish star Eriksen is now back to full fitness for United and the Red Devils – who sit third in the Premier League table and are looking to add Europa League and FA Cup honours to the Carabao Cup crown they have already claimed – remain unbeaten when Fernandes, Casemiro and Eriksen start together.