Bruno Fernandes believes winning the Europa League will stand Manchester United in good stead to challenge for the Premier League title next season.
Fernandes scored from the penalty spot in extra time as United edged past Copenhagen 1-0 earlier this week to set up a Europa League semi-final with Sevilla on Sunday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United have already fallen at the semi-final stage in the EFL Cup and FA Cup this season, but January signing Fernandes is keen to put that right following his side’s third-placed finish in the Premier League.
“I think it’s so important to win because every player needs to understand how it is to win a trophy for Manchester United,” Fernandes is quoted as saying by several British newspapers.
“For the coach, it will be important and for the players because I think we’ve done very well until now.
— Bruno Fernandes (@B_Fernandes8) July 22, 2020
“I think if we finish with a trophy, it will not be perfect, but it will be a good year for us because Manchester United needs to come back again to win some trophies and fight for the European competitions and also the league. Finishing well now is a good start for next season.”
United’s last major honour was the 2017 Europa League and Fernandes is hopeful that two more victories in this season’s tournament in Germany will be the catalyst for further success for Solskjaer’s young squad.
“I think we need to keep progressing and we need to start the league with the mentality to win,” he said. “We know we play for a big club with big aspirations, also the players, we have big aspirations and we need to win some trophies.
“Of course, the Premier League is one of the trophies we want to win and I think to win the Europa League would be good for the mentality of winning trophies and fighting with the top clubs.
“For next season, if we can win this, it will be important.”
Mason Greenwood has been one of the standout stars of the season for United, contributing to 17 goals in all competitions – five of those coming in the Europa League.
And Fernandes, who has been a major success since arriving at Old Trafford from Sporting CP in January, can only see the teenage forward getting better over time.
“I think Mason has done a great season, of course,” he said. “Mason is young and he has great numbers this season.
“The age is just a number and you see Mason has done very well.
“He can do much more because of the qualities he has and he still has to grow up physically. He did fantastically this season and he will get better.
“He needs to play more and get more confidence from his team-mates and the staff and I think he will get much better because he has that quality.”
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