Fernandes’ reaction to Wan-Bissaka goal makes perfect sense

Manchester United fans could have been forgiven for expecting the finished article when they splashed £55million to land Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

The right-back was snapped up from Crystal Palace back in the summer of 2019 and instantly made an impact in strengthening Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defence.

But it soon became apparent that, despite the hefty fee, the youngster was not the finished article.

During his debut campaign at Old Trafford, Wan-Bissaka produced just three assists and failed to find the back of the net as his attacking qualities came into question.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold registering four goals and 13 assists in Liverpool’s Premier League title-winning campaign, many questioned whether Wan-Bissaka’s offensive contributions were enough for a side with title ambitions.

Buoyed by his imperious defensive displays and the solid base which was the backbone of a new-look United side, the Red Devils persevered.

But manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Wan-Bissaka himself made little secret of their desire to improve on the attacking elements of his game.

Wan-Bissaka finally broke his duck with a fine strike against Newcastle back in October to get off the mark for the Red Devils.

After that game, midfielder Bruno Fernandes announced his surprise and outed himself as a new ally to Wan-Bissaka in his quest to conquer the final third.

"We didn't know he can shoot!" Fernandes told MUTV. “It is difficult for us believing he can score because we never see him shooting.

“We were talking in the dressing room and asking him because we all think he wanted to cross and did a bad ball and scored!

"I am happy for him, he deserved the goal.

“He deserves to be in more of these situations and we always ask for him be more positive, be more in the box and try and improve. He has such good qualities.

"Everyone knows about him defensively but he needs to show more than that and he has the qualities for that.”

Wan-Bissaka last night added a second goal to his collection, arriving at the back post to meet a Luke Shaw cross and hand Manchester United the lead against Southampton at Old Trafford.

He was instantly met by a beaming Fernandes who embraced his team-mates and looked equally as delighted with his rare goal.

Having called for Wan-Bissaka to get more opportunities to attack, it should come as no surprise to see Fernandes pleased to see some of his influence on team-mates paying off.

“He helps everyone – on and off the pitch,” Wan-Bissaka said of Fernandes last year.

“He tells me before the game what he thinks I should do and which positions he thinks I should get into when he gets the ball, and where I should be.

“He has done it with the other players, and I can see that, along with the impact that he has made.

“When I scored my goal [against Newcastle] he said he couldn’t believe I could shoot! That goal there was to show him!”

After showing Fernandes once, Wan-Bissaka did the same again and is becoming an increasingly important cog in Solskjaer’s title-challenging machine.

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