Erik ten Hag will no doubt be delighted that some of his Manchester United players are currently starring at the World Cup.
Casemiro was highly influential against Serbia in Brazil’s 2-0 victory, achieving a SofaScore rating of 7.8, ranking only second behind Richarlison’s 8.4 rating and the midfielder took 77 touches and won 83% of his total duels throughout the tie.
It might be the performance by Bruno Fernandes however that pleases the Dutchman the most, with the 28-year-old leading Portugal to a crucial opening 3-2 win against Ghana.
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It was an entertaining match and the African side perhaps should have snatched a late equaliser if it weren’t for an unlucky slip by Inaki Williams as he was about to score, but it was Portugal who held on.
Fernandes achieved a SofaScore rating of 8.4, the highest on either starting XI and he was integral to the win, providing two assists, making three key passes, and also creating a further two big chances, showing that he was at his attacking best playing on the right-hand side of a front three including Cristiano Ronaldo and Joao Felix.
The Man United star also had a 94% pass success rate, while taking 66 touches of the ball during the match, proving that he wanted to constantly be involved and his desire was important in Portugal’s.
Journalist Josh Bunting said Fernandes was “the most effective player” following a change in formation, while Statman Dave also lauded his performance, claiming he made a “crucial contribution” against Ghana, and if Portugal fancy a deep run in this tournament, they will need Fernandes performing at this level throughout.
Ten Hag will be keen on watching his future matches in the tournament and hoping he can maintain this excellent level, although the Dutchman will be wary that if Portugal happen to reach the final, Fernandes won’t get much rest time between then and the resumption of the Premier League on Boxing Day.
Seeing his players influence matches on the biggest stage of all will give the United manager hope that they can star for the Old Trafford side during the second half of the season and help them finish in the top four and secure a Champions League place next season.