Joe Cole explains why Bruno Fernandes is struggling at Manchester United and hails ‘incredible’ Cristiano Ronaldo

    Joe Cole has discussed Bruno Fernandes' drop in form
    Joe Cole has discussed Bruno Fernandes’ drop in form (Pictures: YouTube/Getty)

    Joe Cole believes Bruno Fernandes is struggling to deal with the ‘pressure’ at Manchester United but has hailed ‘incredible’ Cristiano Ronaldo as he continues to rescue the Red Devils.

    Fernandes, who signed a contract extension earlier this month, has endured an underwhelming season at Old Trafford, scoring nine goals in 43 appearances, with his last goal coming more than two months ago.

    The Portugal playmaker thrived in his first 18 months in the Premier League, scoring 26 goals and making 19 assists in 51 games, but has cut an increasingly frustrated figure this term.

    Fernandes’ drop in form has coincided with a difficult period for Manchester United, who have flattered to deceive this season and look set to finish outside the Champions League places.

    ‘Bruno is what I like to call a high-tariff player,’ former England star Cole told Coral. ‘He takes risks with the ball, he likes to be the player everything goes through and he’s a tremendous footballer with great technical ability.

    ‘But I think he’s struggled with the pressure on his shoulders. The team just isn’t working this season. And I feel like Bruno operates a lot better when things are flowing through him.

    ‘At the moment, obviously you’ve got Ronaldo, and he becomes the pivotal point. Bruno is a rhythm player and needs things going through him and he’ll take chances. And when it doesn’t work, then I feel like he struggles.

    Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 17 Premier League goals this season
    Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 17 Premier League goals this season (Picture: Getty)

    ‘It highlights the other side of his game, he’s not an amazing presser, he’s not physically good. He’s like a quarterback, he needs to be dictating the play.’

    While Fernandes is going through a rut, his countryman Ronaldo continues to contribute for struggling Manchester United and has scored 23 goals since returning to Old Trafford last summer.

    Cole added: ‘Ronaldo will score goals. If you put him in front of goal in ten years’ time, he’ll still put it away. He is just an incredible player who is no doubt one of the greatest of all time.

    ‘There’s no cohesion at all in this Manchester United team, so the fact he is still managing to score goals is a credit to him.

    ‘I would imagine Manchester United not winning a trophy is not good enough for him, because no matter how many goals he has scored, he’s such a winner.’

    Ronaldo’s 17th Premier League goal of the season earned United a point against Chelsea on Thursday night. Ralf Rangnick’s side play Brentford on Monday in their final home game of the campaign.

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