Bruno Fernandes says media treated him and Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe very differently
The Gunners signed the Ivorian for a club-record £72 million from Lille in 2019 (BBC). He came in with a lot of hype after a spectacular campaign in France, but things didn’t quite go to plan for him at the Emirates.
Bruno Fernandes says media treated him and Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe very differently
Fernandes joined Manchester United six months after Pepe made his move to Arsenal.
In the period before the Portuguese international made his debut, the Ivorian managed just three goals and three assists in the Premier League.
Fernandes, however, was the complete opposite. The Portugal international hit the ground running, scoring eight goals and providing seven assists in the second half of the 2020/21 season.
Everyone was raving about the midfielder, but he has now come out and claimed that the media were really harsh on him in that period, which he says was very different to how Pepe was treated.
Fernandes told The Athletic: “He (Pepe) had some bad games and everyone was saying, ‘he still has to adapt’, but when Bruno was having a bad game, it was just because he was moaning or not focused on the game.
“For me, that was good, because it meant that I was ready and that’s why they were demanding so much from me.”
Both Fernandes and Pepe have received a lot of stick from fans, pundits and the media during their difficult periods.
The now-27-year-old Ivorian cost more money than the Manchester United man when he joined Arsenal three years ago. He was expected by everyone to be the player who would make the Gunners one of the most dangerous sides in the Premier League, but he just couldn’t repeat what he did in France with Lille.
Fernandes, even though he was sensational in his first 18 months as a Manchester United player, was heavily criticised when things didn’t quite go his way last season.
The Manchester United star, however, remains the last man standing as Pepe’s Arsenal career looks all but done. He was loaned out to Nice in the summer, and it is very likely that he will be sold by this time next year.
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