Bruno Fernandes’s elevated stature within the Manchester United locker room has earned him the captain’s armband, as indicated by his commendable attitude towards his peers.
Alvaro Fernandez, a talented left-back who has been a part of United’s pre-season setup, sheds light on the Portuguese’s influence and leadership.
Having spent the last season on loan at Preston, Fernandez, aged 20, transferred to United from Real Madrid’s academy three years prior. He immediately struck a bond with Alejandro Garnacho, another recruit from Atletico Madrid. Fernandez praises Fernandes for aiding the duo’s assimilation into the team and the squad dynamics.
In a conversation with Diario AS, Fernandez narrated, “Bruno, I would say, has been instrumental for me. With Juan (Mata) and David (De Gea) no longer here, Bruno has really supported Garnacho and me.” Adding further, he said, “Bruno possesses a certain degree of authority. Bruno has, let’s say, more power. He is a very nice guy.”
Following De Gea’s departure this summer, the Spanish contingent in the senior squad is missing. Here, it is Fernandes who fills in the gap and ensures a sense of comfort for his teammates.
At Old Trafford, the captain’s armband signifies a symbolic transition, potentially hinting at the future of Harry Maguire. Fernandes clarified his conversation with Maguire and dismissed any speculations of discontent due to the change.
In Fernandes’s words, “He offered his congratulations and expressed his happiness for me.” He then led the team as captain in a pre-season friendly against Arsenal, which the Red Devils won 2-0.
Aware of Maguire’s current position, Fernandes said, “I know his situation isn’t the best right now. It must be tough for him. But he came up to me, congratulated me and I appreciate that. We’ve always shared a good rapport.”
He further added, “Everyone was aware of what was happening with H [Maguire], but the identity of the next captain was unknown. So [Ten Hag announced] it in a team meeting, as it’s something we need to practice more – to maintain an internal environment and to appreciate each other internally.”