Bruno Fernandes slams critics for treating him differently to Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe

    Bruno Fernandes says the expectations of him were too high (Picture: Getty)
    Bruno Fernandes says the expectations of him were too high (Picture: Getty)

    Bruno Fernandes has hit out at his critics for treating him differently to other foreign players in the Premier League and cited Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe as an example.

    The Portuguese playmaker has been the club’s best signing since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, with the 28-year-old proving a success since his £47m move from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020.

    Fernandes transformed United’s fortunes on his arrival, helping the club to a third-place finish in the Premier League when it looked likely that the side would finish outside the top four before he joined.

    In all, Fernandes has scored 51 times in 132 matches for United but he’s still been heavily criticised.

    Many are critical of Fernandes’ passing and his tendency to try the difficult option when easier passes are available.

    But the playmaker says he has not been afforded the same time to adapt to the Premier league as other players have.

    Fernandes says Pepe, who joined Arsenal in a £72m deal from Lille in 2019, is an example of a foreign player that has been given more time than he has.

    Arsenal v Everton - Pre-Season friendly
    Pepe joined Arsenal in 2019 for £72m (Picture: Getty)

    ‘He (Pepe) had some bad games and everyone was saying, ‘He still has to adapt’,” Fernandes told the Athletic.

    ‘But when Bruno was having a bad game, it was just because he was moaning or not focused on the game.

    ‘For me, that was good, because it meant that I was ready and that’s why they were demanding so much from me.’

    Fernandes has started every Premier League match under Erik ten Hag this term and has kept his place as the side’s no.10, despite the arrival of Christian Eriksen.

    The playmaker’s form dipped last term, with Fernandes managing 10 goals in his 46 appearances.

    That was Fernandes’ lowest tally since joining the club, having managed 28 goals the season before.

    MORE : Bruno Fernandes takes swipe at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and compares Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag to Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola

    MORE : Jurgen Klopp ‘gives blessing’ for Jordan Henderson to join up with England squad

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