Former Liverpool and England midfielder Danny Murphy has said that Erik ten Hag must drop Bruno Fernandes.
The Portuguese had another poor performance against Newcastle yesterday, barely having an impact and losing the ball multiple times.
In recent months, questions have been asked of Fernandes’ awful form, but Ten Hag has persisted with the playmaker, opting to deploy him in the 10 in front of Christian Eriksen and Casemiro or Scott McTominay.
In the Premier League this season, Fernandes has registered just one goal and one assist.
To highlight his massive dropoff, in his first season, the Portuguese averaged a goal contribution every 79 minutes. In the current term, he is doing so every 405 minutes.
After United made hard work of breaking down the Magpies, Murphy said via The Mail, “It’s a real concern for one of their most creative players (lack of goal involvements).”
“I think when Eriksen comes back he [Erik Ten Hag] may have to take him out of the firing line for a little while and put Eriksen in [to] give him a little kick up the bottom to see if they can improve his numbers.”
“Every player needs that now and again.”
Eriksen was not available for selection yesterday after he was ruled out with sickness.
The Dane was a big miss in the middle of the park as the Red Devils missed his control and composure.
The result was that Bruno Guimarães and Joelinton ran circles around United’s midfield trio.
It is hard to argue against Murphy’s assessment. Fernandes has needed to be taken out of the firing line for some time now. Certainly, on evidence of his showings, he must not be assured of a place and maybe sitting on the bench for a game or two will give him the impetus he needs to return to his best self.