Bruno Fernandes statement highlights Man Utd role change since Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival

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Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes’ latest comments illustrate that his role in the side has changed since the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo this summer. Ronaldo returned to Old Trafford for a second spell in August following three years with Juventus.

Fernandes hailed Ronaldo’s impact alongside Edinson Cavani after the duo were named alongside each other in the frontline for the first time in Man Utd’s 3-0 Premier League victory over Tottenham on Saturday.

Both players found the back of the net as United produced a fine performance to claim their first league victory since mid-September. 

And Fernandes admits his role is now to serve the duo and ‘make them happy.’

“Obviously the team we have such good quality,” Fernandes said ahead of United’s Champions League clash with Atalanta on Tuesday. 

“They were big part of the result on Saturday but with quality we have it is easy to play behind any striker we have.

“All of them can score goals – I am just there to serve them and make them happy.”

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Fernandes was Man Utd’s chief goal threat last season and ended the campaign as his team’s highest Premier League goalscorer, with 18 strikes.

That was seven more goals than Marcus Rashford managed and eight more than Cavani.

Fernandes also contributed 12 assists in the top-flight – a tally which was bettered only by Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

The 27-year-old started this campaign in similar fashion as he struck a hat-trick in the Red Devils’ victory over Leeds United on the opening weekend of the season.

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But Fernandes is no longer Man Utd’s matchwinner and has only found the back of the net once in seven games since Ronaldo signed.

That goal came in the 4-1 thumping of Newcastle, meaning the midfielder hasn’t scored in six league games.

Fernandes has assisted seven goals in all competitions since mid-September, however, so his contribution to the team is still clearly a significant one.

United will be hoping to extend their lead at the top of Group F of the Champions League when they travel to Italy.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had to come from two goals down to claim a 3-2 victory on a famous night in Manchester when Atalanta travelled to England a fortnight ago.

And Fernandes admits his side have never doubted their belief, despite their recent humbling at the hands of Liverpool.

“That belief was there before the game against Liverpool.

“The reaction from the players [against Tottenham] was good – it is always difficult to handle a loss against biggest rivals. We let [the fans] down that time, but that is the past.

“We focused on Tottenham, now we must forget that win and think what we can do vs Atalanta.”

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