The future of the 25-year-old has been the subject of intense speculation throughout the January transfer window, but Manchester United finally seems ready to end the saga and catch his man.
Here, we take a look at what Fernandes will bring next to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and where he will fit in the team.
What Fernandes brings
During his two and a half years in Sporting Lisbon, Fernandes scored 64 goals in 137 appearances in all competitions. It’s a hugely impressive total for an attacking midfielder, and statistics show that it was equally effective in terms of creativity.
Fernandes created more opportunities (239) than any other player during his time in the Portuguese Primeira League. His total of 28 assists was the second highest and also ranked second for the great opportunities created (31) and the third final pass (1,364). No player completed more through balls (17).
Fernandes is a direct player who likes to face defenders and risk possession instead of going to safety. This can be seen in its passing sonar, which shows that the vast majority of its passes are moving forward, despite the fact that it generally operates high in the field.
Fernandes had more shots on target than any other player in the Primeira League during his time with Sporting and offers a considerable long-range threat, with nine of his 39 league goals coming from outside the area.
It is another asset that United will try to take advantage of in the Premier League.
An update on No. 10
Fernandes is a versatile standing right that has been used in various positions during his time at Sporting, but most of his minutes this season have reached No. 10 and that is certainly the most obvious position for him to place in favorite 4 of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. -2-3-1 alignment.
The most used Solskjaer players in that position this season have been Andreas Pereira, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata, but in a combined total of 29 appearances in No. 10 in all competitions, they have only contributed three goals and five assists among them.
As such, creativity has become a major problem for United, which does not have a single player among the top 20 opportunities created in the Premier League this season. Liverpool and Manchester City, on the other hand, have three representatives each, while Chelsea has two.
Fernandes will enter a test environment much more than he is used to, it is not realistic to expect him to reproduce his Primeira Liga production in the Premier League, but he has experience in adapting to different environments after having spent time in Italy and still offers a considerable improvement in the current options of Manchester United in n. 10.
He would get many shooting opportunities from the No. 10 position, and in Daniel James, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, he would also have three perfect goals for his final passes in the third third and through balls.
A different option in the midfield
Fernandes also feels comfortable when he operates in a more retracted field center role, where he can help build the game from the deep and contribute to the third attack.
Manchester United, therefore, could use it on the right side of a midfield three in a 4-3-3 formation.
Fernandes is naturally inclined to move to that side of the field, as his heat map shows, but this paper would also require a greater defensive contribution. Fortunately for United, that is unlikely to be a problem for Fernandes, who is known for his work pace and attack qualities.
Deploying Fernandes in the midfield in a 4-3-3 could also be an effective way to simultaneously allow Paul Pogba to play in his favorite position on the left side. The Frenchman has barely appeared this season due to injuries, but Solskjaer has said he is “desperate,quot; to return to the side, which means he can still have a future in the club despite recent speculation.
How to follow the transfer window with Sky Sports
Sky sports It will bring you the latest news from the January transfer market with the return of three shows.
Start your day with Good morning transfers at 9 in the morning while our team of reporters brings you the latest news and knowledge. Talk transfer Then continue at noon delivering an analysis of the most important stories. Then, join us at 7 p.m. for the definitive summary of the news of the day with The Transfer Show.
the Talk transfer The podcast is also back with a more expert analysis from here and across the continent.
And in addition to tuning in Sky sports news, don’t miss anything with our dedicated Transfer Center blog.\