EPL: He’s top player – Mata names midfielder Man Utd should build team around

Former Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata has said current captain Bruno Fernandes is a “great leader” and advised that the “culture of the club should be built around him.”

Fernandes has scored six goals and given one assist in his last four matches.

But his role as club captain has been frequently questioned since he took over from Harry Maguire in July 2023.

However, Mata told ESPN on Thursday that Fernandes’ consistent performances and role-model status behind the scenes make him an important figure at the club.

He said: “I can tell you that for me, there is a great leader in there right now, which is the captain, Bruno.

“I should tell all young players to look up to him. I cannot tell you how important he is for the club and not only because of what he’s done in the last games, scoring two goals and winning the game [against Sheffield United], but his consistency within the years that he’s been playing for the club is just incredible.

“He’s a top player, but he’s even better as a person. So for me, the culture of the club should be built around him. He’s a great example for all the new generation, the players that are playing now for the team, [Alejandro] Garnacho, [Kobbie] Mainoo, [Rasmus] Højlund, to look up to him the way he trains, the way he behaves.

“For me, he’s the one that is always there for the team. He can play better or worse, but he’s always there with the right attitude. And for me, that’s what being a Manchester United player is.”

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