Bruno Fernandes happy to share Manchester United penalty-taking duties this season

James Ducker
·2 min read
Fernandes has scored 28 of the 30 penalties he has taken in his career - GETTY IMAGES
Fernandes has scored 28 of the 30 penalties he has taken in his career - GETTY IMAGES

Bruno Fernandes has revealed his willingness to share penalty taking duties at Manchester United this season, despite his perfect record from the spot for the club.

United were awarded 22 penalties last season, the most of any side in Europe’s top five leagues since Barcelona in 2015/16.

Fernandes, a £47 million signing from Sporting Lisbon in January, converted all eight of the spot-kicks he took for United.

But the Portugal midfielder insists he is prepared to hand over the responsibility on those occasions he is fatigued or not feeling confident or a team-mate is eager to step up. Fernandes allowed Marcus Rashford to take a penalty instead of him in the 5-2 win over Bournemouth in July.

United converted 18 of their 22 penalties last term, with Rashford missing twice from 12 yards and Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial once each.

“It doesn’t matter if I take penalties,” said Fernandes, who has scored 28 of the 30 penalties he has taken in his career.

“We have a lot of qualities in the team, like I’ve said before. I already talked with some players. Rashy was the guy who took the penalties so I tell him, ‘When you feel confident, if you want to take the penalty, for me, it is not a problem.’ I will not fight.

“I feel confident with penalties and I want to take them but, if someone comes to me to ask to take a penalty, I will not fight every time, just to take a penalty.

“In that moment, I can be tired or not prepared to take a penalty and I can say easily: ‘You take it’.

“I trust in my team-mates – Rashy, Anthony [Martial] and also Paul [Pogba], they have a lot of qualities and can take it. We have really good penalty-takers. The most important thing is scoring for Manchester United. It doesn’t matter if it is Bruno or someone else.”