Paul Scholes: Bruno Fernandes "a bit of a problem" for Man United

Paul Scholes reckons Bruno Fernandes has become "a bit of a problem" at Manchester United

Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes (Photo: MUTV / Screengrab)

Paul Scholes says that Bruno Fernandes has become “a bit of a problem” at Manchester United.

The Red Devils were held to a 1-1 draw with Southampton at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon after Che Adams cancelled out Jadon Sancho’s first-half winner.

Fernandes struggled to make an impact on the Premier League clash as the Portugal international produced a quiet performance in the middle of the park as his other team-mates struggled too.

The 27-year-old finished with just 70 per cent pass completion and failed to register a shot on goal in an underwhelming display against the south coast club.

Fernandes has only scored two goals in his last 10 appearances in all competitions to underline the former Sporting Lisbon midfielder’s decline in performances.

The Portuguese star has started Manchester United’s last three games but failed to contribute as Ralf Rangnick’s side continues to struggle to find consistency.

And former Manchester United midfielder Scholes believes that Fernandes moves around the pitch too much in the Red Devils team under the interim German head coach.

“I think Fernandes could be a little bit of a problem you know,” Scholes told BT Sport after Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Southampton.

“As much as he’s such a talented lad – when he first came to the club he scored so many great goals, so many assists – but he’s all over the football pitch.

“A coach would tell you better that from a defensive point of view, how can you set up in a shape when you have no idea where the start of it – the start of it is Cristiano Ronaldo, and then it’s Fernandes – how can you set traps for teams when you don’t know where some of your players are going to be.

“Paul Pogba tends to wander about. You see Fernandes, sometimes he’s left-back, he’s right-back, at the end of the game he was playing behind Dalot for five minutes!”

Fernandes has scored seven times and has made five assists in 23 games in the Premier League this season as well as being booked six times.

In comparison, the Manchester United talisman scored 28 goals in 58 games in all competitions last season, averaging a goal every other game.

Speaking after Saturday’s draw, Red Devils boss Rangnick has admitted that his side have struggled to fulfil his game-plans in recent fixtures.

“Unfortunately, again, it was very similar to the last couple of games,” Rangnick told his post-match news conference on Saturday. “Very good first half, very good first half-hour. We did all the things we intended to do with the counter-attacks, with the deep runs.

“[It was] exactly that way we created the goal and prepared the goal. It was a great goal, in all aspects of the goal. But then we stopped doing that. Even at the end of the first half, we didn’t do those things anymore.

“And then in the second half, we also lost a bit of shape in the first 20 minutes. We were struggling to defend against them and exactly that happened in transition when they scored their goal. In the last 20 minutes, we had enough opportunities, big chances to score again. The expected-goals ratio was in our favour clearly but, in the end, we didn’t get the result we wanted to.”

Manchester United will host Brighton at Old Trafford on Tuesday night before Rangnick’s side travel to Leeds United next Sunday.

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