'Only De Bruyne has better stats than me!' - Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes responds to Mourinho penalty dig

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Bruno Fernandes Kevin De Bruyne
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The Tottenham boss questioned the main source of the Portuguese playmaker's goals at the end of the season, which he sees as a "positive"

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has responded to Jose Mourinho's dig at his penalty record, while pointing out that Kevin De Bruyne is the only man who can better his statistics for goal involvements.

Fernandes hit 12 goals in his first 22 outings for United after moving to Old Trafford from Sporting CP in the winter transfer window.

He also managed to provide eight assists as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side finished third in the Premier League, making the club's initial €55 million (£49m/$65m) investment seem like a bargain.

However, eight of his goals came from the penalty spot, with the Red Devils awarded a total of 20 fouls in the area across all competitions in 2019-20.

United set a new record for the most penalties won in a single top-flight campaign (14), and Mourinho, who coached at Old Trafford between 2016 and 2018, couldn't resist a jibe at Fernandes when quizzed on his impact in Manchester.

“Bruno came in, was fit, played very well, improved the United team and also proved to be a great penalty taker, one of the best in the world, because he had about 20 to score," the Tottenham boss said in July.

And Fernandes has now addressed Mourinho's comments ahead of the new season, telling Portuguese publication A Bola: "I honestly did not feel stung.

Jose Mourinho Tottenham 2020-21

"I feel that I am a good penalty taker and nothing more, I understand, but what I take from his [Mourinho's] words, because I’m a very positive person, is that he said I hit penalties well.

"It is a reality, not least since I arrived at Manchester United."

The 25-year-old went on to compare his record in the final third with Manchester City star De Bruyne, who equalled Thierry Henry's assist record during his 35 Premier League appearances last term.

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"I hear people saying, 'ah, he only scores from penalty kicks' but a little while ago, I saw the statistics and, except for penalties, only Kevin De Bruyne has a higher involvement in goals than me in England when it comes to midfielders," said Fernandes.

The Portugal international is currently away on duty with his country, and will have little time to recover from a UEFA Nations League double-header against Croatia and Sweden when he returns to Old Trafford.

United will kick off their 2020-21 campaign at home to Crystal Palace on September 19, seven days before taking in a trip to the Amex Stadium to face Brighton.

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