"Sometimes I would fight with him" – Manchester United superstar Bruno Fernandes' ex-coach opens up on his mentality in training
Nigeria manager Jose Peseiro has opened up about Manchester United ace Bruno Fernandes' mentality and determination during first-team training sessions at his erstwhile club Sporting CP.
Fernandes, 28, has been a vital dressing room presence for Manchester United since arriving from the Primeira Liga outfit. He moved to Old Trafford for an initial fee of £47 million in the winter of 2020. He has grown into a leadership role at Old Trafford over the years, standing out with his elite performances.
A right-footed playmaker blessed with passing and shooting, the 53-cap Portugal international has been a constant goal threat for Manchester United's opposition. He has registered 56 goals and 45 assists in 155 games across all competitions for Erik ten Hag's side so far.
Speaking to the Mirror, Peseiro reminisced about his time at Sporting CP and heaped praise on Fernandes in the process. He elaborated:
"I always kept observing our league because I was coach at Vitoria Guimaraes, and I knew it was important to keep him playing for us. He's a true captain. Incredible player with high demands, and not only in the matches – in training, in meetings, at team meals."
Lauding his resolve in bettering his craft, Peseiro continued:
"He showed everybody the maximum motivation that was demanding, he spoke to everybody to make sure we would improve. On the pitch, he always wanted to be training. After training, he would convince three or four more, and a goalkeeper, to do more training."
Recalling an interaction with the attacking midfielder, Peseiro added:
"Sometimes we would do complementary training, but then even after that he would stay on the pitch with some teammates and be with them shooting, or taking free-kicks or working on things. Sometimes I would fight with him – I'd say, 'Take care, go for a rest, because you can't endure it'. I always knew he was a strong guy, but some of the others could not take it, they'd need to rest."
Peseiro also highlighted Fernandes' physical attributes, saying:
"But he just loved to practice and he was a very strong guy, not only mentally but also physically, with strong biomechanics. Sometimes he could put a risk for other players because they could not do the same like he did, but he always just wanted to drive high standards."
Fernandes is next expected to feature for Manchester United against Reading in an FA Cup fourth-round clash on Saturday (January 28).
Erik ten Hag ready to let 20-year-old Manchester United ace leave on loan: Reports
According to ESPN journalist Mark Ogden, Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is prepared to let Anthony Elanga depart on a short-term loan this month. He is hoping for the Swede to gather some first-team minutes under his belt.
Elanga, 20, has dropped down the pecking order at Old Trafford under the helm of Ten Hag. He has featured in just 607 minutes of action in the ongoing 2022-23 season, spread across 19 overall matches.
Everton and Borussia Dortmund are keen to acquire the nine-cap Sweden forward's services in January, as per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.