Few players in Europe had a more successful season during the 2018/19 campaign than Sporting CP star Bruno Fernandes. The talented playmaker was the undisputed leader of a Lisbon side that reached a UEFA Europa League berth, and he quickly became one of the most prized transfer assets heading into the current 2019/20 campaign.
Fernandes was quickly linked with a move to some of Europe’s best sides. Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid were all expected to engage in a bidding war for the Portugal international. However, there is no certainty on whether there was an official bid for Fernandes or not. The reality is that he didn’t move anywhere, and remained as a Sporting player for the current term.
Many believed his 2018/19 was a one-time thing, and that he was not going to be able to repeat that. After all, Fernandes registered 32 goals and 18 assists in 53 appearances in all competitions for Sporting. It’s not easy to carry that kind of production from one year to the next. But the 25-year-old has been even better in 2019/20. So far, what he did last season hasn’t been a fluke. Maybe he’s just that good, and he needs to leave the Primeira Liga in order to test himself in a more competitive environment.
Fernandes needs to leave the Primeira Liga as soon as possible
It’s clear Portugal’s top-flight is not enough for him anymore. Fernandes already has seven goals and five assists in 10 appearances across all competitions. He also averages one goal every 129 minutes – that’s an insane ratio for someone who isn’t even a striker. Although you couldn’t say that by simply judging at his numbers.
It remains to be seen whether Fernandes decides to make the jump to a tougher league ahead of the 2020/21 season. He’s not expected to leave Sporting during the January transfer window, but anything can happen. And if he keeps playing at this level, then top teams should be wise to knock on Sporting’s door once again.
He has been one of Europe’s top playmaking threat for the past 15 months. And that level of consistency is not easy to reach. It’s time he moves elsewhere to prove everyone he can thrive at the top level of competition. Something the Portuguese league does not offer at the moment.