PREMIER LEAGUE

Manchester United newboy Bruno Fernandes: in Opta numbers

Bruno Fernandes completed his move to Manchester United on Wednesday. We look at how his numbers stack up against the United's other midfielders.

Bruno Fernandes to Man Utd: The Opta numbers that should encourage Red Devils fans

Manchester United announced the signing of Bruno Fernandes today after reaching an agreement with Sporting Clube de Portugal. Looking at the 25-year-old's Opta numbers, United fans have every reason to feel optimistic about their new player. The creative central midfielder first must complete the formalities of a medical and sign his new contract to seal his move to Old Trafford.

The centre of the park has been a problem area for United this season and would likely have been so even if Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay had not missed time through injuries. Fernandes' arrival offers hope of going some way to addressing the problem, and here Opta data shows how he performed for Sporting this season, compared to United's midfielders.

Bruno Fernandes; goals and assists

Scoring goals has been an issue for United this season, with their return of 36 from 24 Premier League games the lowest among the top six teams in the top flight table.

Fernandes should help in this regard having contributed eight in 17 Primeira Liga appearances. United's best Premier League goals return from midfield comes from McTominay (three in 17 appearances), while Andreas Pereira has just one in 21 and Fred (20), Jesse Lingard (19), Juan Mata (15), Nemanja Matic (8) and Pogba (7) are yet to score – although it has to be noted that Pogba has spent a long period on the sidelines injured.

The 25-year-old has also been a reliable supplier for his team-mates, with seven assists for Sporting. Pereira has three and Mata two, the same number as Pogba. Fred, Lingard and Matic have yet to set up a team-mate.

In total his combined 15 goal involvements is 11 better than United's best of four from Pereira and McTominay.

Fernandes also has a minutes-per-goal involvement of 102. Pogba is United's best in that area, again with the caveat of having played far fewer games, at 261. Mata chips in with an involvement every 314, with Pereira at 343 and McTominay 363.

Fernandes, never shy of shooting on goal or creating chances

Solskjaer will certainly hope Fernandes can be a much-needed driving force from midfield and the signs are positive. He has totalled 60 shots on goal in the league for Sporting in 2019-2020, some 25 more than Pereira's return - the best midfielder's figures for United.

The likes of Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford – when he returns from a back injury – will also hope to thrive on Fernandes' service.

He has created 63 chances for his team so far this season, an impressive 24 minutes per chance created. In comparison, the most a United midfielder has managed is 31 – again from Pereira, whose minutes-per-chance ratio is 44:1.