When Manchester United signed Bunro Fernandes from Sporting for £67.6 million, many expected him to just another big-money signing. In recent United have made a habit of unnecessarily spending big on players such as Pogba and Maguire. Thus Fernandes was expected to another one in the line of such expensive transfers.
However, that has hardly been the case. Instead since coming to Premier League, he has justified his price tag and taken responsibility like a top player. With his arrival, the Red Devils were able to push for the top-four finish which they ultimately achieved. He has continued his form this season as well and no wonder United are second in the table.
While Donny Van de Beek arrived this summer but he hasn’t been able to create the same impact. A big part of it has been his limited game time. Currently, in the United squad, there are six midfielders including Van de Beek. There can be a place for two attacking midfielders and those two places generally go to Pogba and Fernandes.
Thus Van De Beek has to settle for the spot on the bench. With his limited game time, many have questioned as to why he was signed in the first place. Ed Woodward forked out $40 million to bring to Old Trafford from Ajax. However, his arrival indicates another thing that Ole Gunnar Solskjear is looking for in his squad.
Why Solskjear has to take risk with Van de Beek ?
Despite all his qualities, Fernandes can’t always be at the top of his game. There will times when he won’t be at the top of his game. In the league cup semi-final against Manchester City, he wasn’t at his best and the Red Devils lost the game 0-2. While Pogba hardly managed to make an impact on the game, it was a reminder that there is a need for squad depth in the team.
Solskjear needs players who can turn up in the big games. This season in the game against Southampton, United were 2-0 down at halftime. Edison Cavani came on assisted Burno Fernandes and scored twice as the Red Devils won the game 2-3. They need more such players to increase squad depth in the squad.
This is one of the reasons why Van de Beek came in. They can’t always rely upon Fernandes to run the show in the midfield. They are in need of another midfielder who can run the show in the midfield. Though Van De Beek can’t be expected to just immediately be able to be the main man he certainly needs to be given more playing time.
There is no denying that the Dutchman is a talented player but he will only be able to show his talent when given chance. Perhaps there can be times when Solskjear gives Fernandes a rest and starts Van de Beek. If he is not able to play well then Fernandes can always come from the bench but it is a risk Solskjear has to take given they spent $40 million on him.
12th Man Opinion
It looks like Manchester United signed him as a potential replacement for Pogba. The Frenchman is always linked with a move away from the club. Thus with Van de Beek they already have a midfielder who can potentially become a top player in the future.
Though he may not be alike to like replacement for Pogba but the Frenchman hasn’t been very good at United. Now he will have a year to settle down at the club and in the Premier League. Then next season he can fill the void if Pogba leaves the club.
With the money from Pogba’s sale, they can go on to sign other players. The Red Devils must sign a quality defensive midfielder, who can defend well and distribute as well. With a good defensive midfielder both Fernandes and Van de Beek push more forward and bombard the opposition box.
However good recruitment has been a problem at United. Since the departure of Sir Alex, the Red Devils haven’t been able to get the best out of their signings. Though the likes of Fernandes have been an exception, apart from that rest of them have been average.