At Manchester United and Manchester City, Bruno Fernandes and Kevin De Bruyne are star players, respectively, but who is more important to their team? Using Premier League statistics since Jan. 1, 2020, PA news agency takes a look at which of the clubs is more reliant on their playmaker ahead of the semifinal derby of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
PA GraphicFernandes joined United at the end of the winter transfer window in 2020 and made his debut on Feb. 1 in the goalless draw against Wolves. The Portugal international has the most direct goal contributions in the Premier League since the beginning of last year, while giving everyone else a month’s head start. Fernandes has been involved in 33 goals, two more than his closest rival Mohamed Salah of Liverpool, who won the title last season, while De Bruyne is fifth with 25 goals. Goal contributions in #PL matches are a record, @B Fernandes8! For reaching the mark, our hats off to the former United guy! #MUFC- Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 4, 2021 In terms of goals scored since his Premier League arrival, Fernandes also has the edge over De Bruyne. In the season, the 26-year-old has already netted 19 times, including nine from the penalty spot. Only Salah (23) has more goals scored. Just nine times in total did De Bruyne score, four of them from the penalty spot. In all competitions for his club this season, United’s talisman has scored 15 times, while the Belgian has just three goals to his name. AssistsOver the past 12 months, no player has set more Premier League goals than Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City (Mike Egerton/PA)De Bruyne is last year’s king of assists in the Premier League, but he’s just ahead of his rival. The playmaker of City has 16 goals set for his teammates, two more than Fernandes. Tottenham’s Harry Kane is the only other player in the Premier League to record double-digit assists since Jan. 1, 2020 (11). So far this season, 29-year-old De Bruyne has eight assists, while Fernandes has seven. In the rankings behind Kane, they are second and third (11). Impact after Fernandes joined United? Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer understands how important it is to have Bruno Fernandes in his squad (Peter Powell/NMC Pool)Last season, without Fernandes in the team, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had a 37.5 percent win rate – which rose to 64.3 percent with him in the starting eleven. With the Portuguese playmaker in the center of the midfield, United are clearly scoring more goals, conceding less and picking up more points. In the last two seasons, the Belgian has not been in the starting lineup eight times in the Premier League, and the winning percentage for City plummeted in those games – from 70 percent with him to 37.5 percent without him.