Man Utd handed ‘Bruno Fernandes effect’ warning ahead of Premier League season

Manchester United have been warned the ‘Bruno Fernandes effect’ will wear off unless if they suffer injuries to key members of their squad.

After failing to agree a deal last summer with Sporting, United finally signed the Portuguese international in January for an initial £47million.

In the 14 league games following his arrival, Fernandes started every game and they went unbeaten.

Fernandes was the catalyst for an improved level from Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford.

And it was enough for United to finish the season third in the league having been 14 points behind Leicester, who were second in the table on New Year’s Day.

So far United have only signed Donny van de Beek in the transfer window but the likes of Jadon Sancho have been heavily linked.

Closing the gap to Liverpool and Manchester City while also going deep in the Champions League are United’s two major aims in the forthcoming season.

And former Tottenham and England midfielder Jermaine Jenas feels United can’t rely on Fernandes’ influence to last long-term and says they further additions.

“I know Bruno Fernandes came in and lifted them and they are playing lovely stuff but that effect can disappear really quickly,” he told the BBC.

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“An injury here or there could really hurt them – it is going to be a weird season where teams are going to have to use a lot of their squad, and United will need to add to theirs to be sure of making the top four.

“I am sure United are going to do some serious business in this window – they have to. Unless they sign three or four players, they are facing a real battle to make the top four.

“They need another centre-half for starters and more numbers at the top end of the pitch, whether it is a recognised centre-forward or Jadon Sancho.”

Meanwhile, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Luke Shaw is fit again after an ankle injury forced him to miss the final games of last season.

Shaw will make his return in Saturday’s pre-season friendly with Aston Villa but Axel Tuanzebe misses out.

He said: “For me, Luke is looking really good in training. He has come back, looking strong, and will play in the friendly against Villa.

“Then Axel is getting closer as well. In a few weeks’ time, I guess he will be with us training full-time and hopefully we’ll be able to give him games quickly.”

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