Bruno Fernandes has targeted “more goals and assists than games” for Manchester United in the Premier League this season.
The Portugal international has found the net 25 times and set up 14 more in 42 outings in all competitions since joining from Sporting CP for £47million (€55m) on January 30.
That includes nine goals and five assists in 12 appearances in the English top flight this term, with three of those goal involvements coming in Sunday’s 6-2 win over Leeds United.
It was the seventh time Fernandes both scored and assisted in the same Premier League game since his debut in February – at least two more occasions than any other player during that period.
Going further back, he has been directly involved in 29 goals across 27 appearances in the competition and the 26-year-old is aiming to maintain those levels.
“I think, as I’ve said before, it’s easy when you play in a team like Manchester because there are so many good players around you,” he told MUTV.
— Bruno Fernandes (@B_Fernandes8) December 18, 2020
“They help you to be better and I am here to help them be better. So I think, of course, numbers are really good but it is now that I need to start to improve.
“It will be more difficult from now and I mean difficult day-by-day and game-by-game because the players will know me better.
“Of course, I am really happy to have these numbers and, obviously, it is not easy to get to this point with these numbers, but I want to do better and better, more and more.
“I want to finish the Premier League this season with more goals and assists than games. That would be good.”
Fernandes’ 29 goal involvements since February 1 is more than any other player in the Premier League, with Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah (27) and Tottenham striker Harry Kane (26) next on the list.
That form has secured three Premier League Player of the Month awards during his short time at Old Trafford.
In doing so, Fernandes is the third player ever – along with Ashley Young and Harry Kane – to win the award three times in a calendar year.
He is also the fifth United player to win the award three or more times, the others being Ruud van Nistelrooy, Paul Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.
Introducing your @EASPORTSFIFA Player of the Month for November…
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 11, 2020
For all of Fernandes’ personal achievements in what has been a remarkable year, however, he has nothing to show for it in terms of team honours – United falling short in three semi-finals in 2019-20.
“I think the first 12 months, the 11 months for me [here], have been great,” Fernandes said. “Of course, the main thing I want, [and] didn’t achieve until now, is the trophies.
“That is clear. We really can do that in 2021 and, of course, I think, at the end of everything, what we did in the last 11 months was really good.
“I’m very happy to be here and to be part of this biggest club.”
The only downside for Fernandes, under contract at Old Trafford until 2025 with the option of a further year, has been the lack of supporters in attendance to witness his incredible displays.
“We know what it means to them,” he said. “I think if fans were in the stadium [against Leeds] on Sunday, they will come out and there was a party straight away for them!
“I think it’s really, really important, not for us but for everyone in the world to have the option to go to see games again, to have that joy and enjoy again football and other sports. Also for us players, we miss them a lot.”
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