“Raised his game” – Ex-Red Devil names the Man Utd star who’s improved “drastically” since major Ten Hag decision

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Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has singled out Bruno Fernandes for praise after the club’s win over Southampton at the weekend.

The Portugal international scored the winning goal for the Red Devils as they picked up all three points at the St Mary’s Stadium, and Chadwick is pleased to see how much he’s improved since being given the captain’s armband by manager Erik ten Hag.

Harry Maguire is normally the captain, but his poor form has seen him fall out of favour in the last two games, with Fernandes taking the captain’s armband in his place.

It seems that Fernandes is responding well to the extra responsibility and pressure of being the main man, and Chadwick is delighted to see him back to his best after a slow start to the season and a poor end to last term.

“Fernandes was the other player who really stood out, he looks like he’s buzzing to have the captain’s armband. He’s put in two really good performances since replacing Harry Maguire as captain,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.

Bruno Fernandes Man Utd

“When a player’s given the captain’s armband, particularly at a club like Manchester United, it’s a massive responsibility. You get the sense with Bruno that he craves that responsibility and wants to be the main man. Since he’s been given the armband, he’s been drastically improved, both on the first two games of the season and his dip in form towards the end of last season.

“If United can get Fernandes back to his best then that decision from Ten Hag could end up being really important. He’s a winner, he wants to score, he wants to assist, and he’s really raised his game. If we can get him back to that kind of form he showed when he first joined the club it’s going to be a massive plus for the team moving forward.

“It was a fantastic goal, and hopefully it’s a sign he’s getting back to his best, because when he plays at his best he gets the best out of others in the team as well.”

Chadwick was pleased with United’s ability to grind out a win as well, praising the performance of the team’s centre-backs and full-backs against the Saints.

“It was a vitally important win. They weren’t at their best but it was great to see them grind out a result and keep another clean sheet,” Chadwick said.

“Both full-backs are doing really well – Malacia and Dalot – I thought they were both great, Dalot obviously got the assist with a great ball for Bruno Fernandes to finish.

“I like the understanding between Lisandro Martinez and Varane, they dealt with Che Adams well. Overall it was a really satisfying victory, even if it wasn’t a brilliant performance.

“Obviously the first two performances weren’t really acceptable in terms of the output when they weren’t in possession, they were too placid. The Brentford game was a massive wake-up call and I think that’s been the springboard really, you can see since then that the way the players run and the way that they press and win the ball back has improved. Hopefully it’s the beginning of what could be a really positive season.

“The Liverpool game was huge in terms of what happened, there was a positive start and it got the crowd behind them. Winning against them is always huge, but then you felt there’s always a doubt at the back of your mind with a tricky away game at Southampton. Still, they did what they had to do and won it with a moment of quality from Fernandes.

“The signs are positive. Obviously with how things have gone over the last few years, you can’t get too carried away, so we’ll learn a bit more from the games coming up against Leicester and Arsenal – if they win those you might start thinking things are really turning around and the club can kick on this season.”

More Stories Bruno Fernandes Diogo Dalot Erik ten Hag Harry Maguire Lisandro Martinez Luke Chadwick Raphael Varane Tyrell Malacia