MANCHESTER UNITED are a team transformed since Bruno Fernandes joined from Sporting Lisbon nearly a year ago.
The Portuguese midfielder, 26, moved to Old Trafford at the very end of the the January 2020 transfer window.
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be wishing he brought him in sooner after Fernandes reinvigorated his side.
Man Utd have gone from merely challenging for a Europa League spot this time last year to looking like real contenders for this season's Premier League title.
The Red Devils currently sit second in the standings, level on points with leaders and reigning champions Liverpool.
And there is absolutely no doubt that is thanks to Fernandes – who scored the winner against Aston Villa from the penalty spot on Friday night.
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Looking at the Premier League table since his arrival, Man Utd sit TOP.
Last season, Fernandes almost single-handedly dragged United into the Champions League places.
The Portugal superstar scored eight goals and added a further seven assists in just 14 league games, including netting a host of vital penalties.
And this season Fernandes has arguably gone one step further, involved in 18 goals in just 16 games, netting 11 times and adding another seven assists from midfield.
That means, all-in-all, Fernandes has scored 19 times and added 14 assists in just 32 games – involved in OVER a goal per game.
And thanks to his red-hot form, United have been the best team in the Premier League since his arrival.
In the league table since his arrival, Solskjaer's side sit three points clear of fierce rivals Liverpool, with a better goal difference to boot.
United also sit NINE points ahead of third-placed Manchester City – although Pep Guardiola's side have two 'games in hand'.
Chelsea and Tottenham are the only other two clubs to have racked up more than 50 points since Fernandes' arrival in England, still miles adrift of the Red Devils.
However, could it be United's rivals have merely slipped up? The stats suggest that COULD be the case.
Since Fernandes' arrival, Man Utd have picked up 65 points from just 30 games for an average of 2.17 points per game.
Over a 38-game season, that would see the club pick up 82 points – BELOW the average total for Premier League winners since moving to a 20-team league (87 points).
In fact, 82 points would have been enough to win the Premier League on just SEVEN occasions in the division's 28-year history.
One thing is for sure though, Fernandes has reinvigorated a lacklustre United squad and given his team-mates – and fans – reason to be optimistic again.
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