He may have been Manchester United’s best player last season – by quite a long distance too – but Bruno Fernandes has still come under some scrutiny after the Reds lost the Europa League final to Villarreal on penalties.
The Portuguese international captained his side in the absence of the injured Harry Maguire in Gdansk, yet it’s fair to say that he didn’t look his usual creative self, and couldn’t make the difference for United as he so often does.
Former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has had his say on why he thinks that is: “I personally feel that he finished the season on his knees, and he missed the spark,” he told beIN Sports.
Wenger believes that fatigue affected his concentration and limited his ability to impact the contest.
“Sometimes you can see as well, I found him much more nervous in the game,” he added. “So that, as well, is a sign of fatigue. Your top level is calm, concentration, control. And in the last four or five games, I found him a bit weak on that front.”
The playmaker featured 37 times for United in all competitions last term, but Wenger is hopeful that he will be well-rested so that he can help Portugal fulfil their potential at Euro 2020.
“I hope that he can recover to be efficient for Portugal,” he said.
“I know Bruno wants to play but sometimes you make decisions for the benefit of both the team and him.”
France are strong favourites to win the competition, but their 2016 final loss to Portugal could prove to be a bit of a mental stumbling block, and Wenger even believes that the holders are the most equipped side to rival his home nation for continental glory once more.
“Portugal at the moment to me looks to be the best equipped to be dangerous because they won the European Championship in France,” he said.
“They have since had good results in the Nations League, and overall, I would say they have great offensive potential as well. They’re spoiled for choice as well. Portugal produces players.”