Man Utd midfielder Bruno Fernandes has “been manipulated” by the return of Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford, according to Paul Parker.
The return of Ronaldo was greeted by celebration across the Red Devils fanbase with many expecting him to help them challenge for a Premier League title this season.
However, Man Utd are currently in seventh after losing 5-0 to arch-rivals Liverpool on Sunday with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side only picking up one point in four Premier League matches.
Fernandes contributed 18 goals and 12 assists last campaign for Man Utd, while his numbers – four goals and two assists in nine Premier League matches – are pretty good too.
But Parker reckons Fernandes has been “manipulated” into thinking “he’s got to deliver to Ronaldo”.
Parker told Betfred: “The main player for me is Fernandes. I think he’s been manipulated by Ronaldo’s return and I think that’s affected him.
“He’s allowed himself to be mentally bullied out of doing all the good things he was doing before. He shirked responsibility in the Leicester game when he would have took it on himself normally but he decided to take the pass to Ronaldo.
“It’s been a tough week— we need to come together as a group.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 28, 2021
“He’s not grabbing hold of games as he did before. He’s not making opportunities anymore and you have to look at him and think to yourself ‘why is that?’. And there’s only one reason – it’s because he feels he’s got to deliver to Ronaldo and I think there’s a few other players like that as well.
“But he sticks out because he’s been instrumental in all that United have achieved up until this season.”
Parker also picked out Luke Shaw for his drop in performances after enjoying a great 2020/21 season for club and country.
The former Man Utd defender added: “I think we have to talk about Luke Shaw. I think he’s maybe been reading his own headlines. I look at his appearance on the pitch now – it isn’t very good. It’s not a good look.
“I think he’s looking in this manner now after scoring in a European Championship final. I don’t know whether that’s got to him but he’s not the player who was there at the back end of last season.”
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