Bruno, Bruno, Bruno!
He certainly is our Portuguese magnifico. There really aren’t sufficient plaudits for our new attacking midfielder in terms of making an immediate and material impact at Manchester United.
Not since United famously signed Eric Cantona in November of 1992 from their rivals Leeds, has a mid-season signing turned the fortunes of the Red Devils so significantly in the same season.
After Cantona joined United for a bargain-bin £1.2 million, United only lost twice in the League the remainder of that season, and won Sir Alex’s first League title at the club (1st of 13 titles and United’s first in 26-years). Cantona won the League title four of the five seasons he spent at Manchester United, famously retiring at the end of 1996/97 season at the age of 30.
While no signing will ever match the impact Eric Cantona had for United, Bruno Fernandes is the closest thing we’ve come to that type of instant impact signing since. When you look at the commonalities between Fernandes and Cantona, in playing style and personality, it makes sense why both had such an immediate and oversized impact at the club.
Both players joined Manchester United sides that were desperate for more creativity, attacking flair and goals. Cantona made an instant impact in the 92/93 season, scoring 9 goals in his first 22 league games, as United won the title. Similarly, Bruno has contributed 15 goals since his debut on Feb 1st, propelling United to an unbeaten League performance and a 3rd place finish.
More importantly, both Cantona and Fernandes exude immense confidence and self-belief, a personality trait that spreads to their teammates and pushes performance levels higher for everyone. Cantona famously brought out the best in his teammates, pushing Mark Hughes, Brian McClair and Ryan Giggs to new heights. We’ve witnessed a similar reaction to our current front three of Martial, Rashford and Greenwood, all playing the best football of their careers since Bruno’s arrival.
The ultimate difference of course between the two is that we won the title the year we signed Eric Cantona, and this year we only finished 3rd, 33 points off 1st place.
We still have a massive transfer window ahead of us but the progress being made is undeniable. While we’ve now found our Cantona, we still need to buy a new CB, RW, CM, and probably another striker, this upcoming window.
Time for Glazers to open their checkbooks and splash some cash this summer as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s rebuild kicks into overdrive!
Glory, Glory, Man United.