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Fernandes signing shows Man Utd are moving in right direction, says Woodward

The midfielder has impressed since moving to Old Trafford in January and the executive vice-chairman is confident they will keep moving forward

Manchester United director Ed Woodward believes the signing of Bruno Fernandes shows the club are moving in the right direction.

The Red Devils are looking to return to the pinnacle of the Premier League, having failed to consistently compete for major titles since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

United have been heavily criticised for their transfer strategy in recent years, but the last two transfer windows saw them invest in expensive signings.

Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James all joined last summer, while the lengthy saga of their pursuit of Fernandes ended in January with the €55 million (£47m/$60m) signing of the Portugal international.

Fernandes, 25, was the only new arrival in the winter transfer window and has had a positive impact at Old Trafford.

The former Sporting star set up a goal in their 2-0 win at Chelsea before he scored and assisted in their home victory against Watford on Sunday, helping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team maintain their six-game winning streak.

And executive vice-chairman Woodward believes Fernandes is proof the club is making the right decisions in the transfer market, while he hopes the youth academy can help get them back on top.

“Despite being linked in the media to 111 players in January, our acquisition of just one of them – Bruno Fernandes – is an important step in that direction, demonstrating our commitment to adding experienced, world-class recruits to the exciting crop of academy graduates that are at the heart of this developing team” Woodward told investors.

“We will take the same planned, disciplined, approach this coming summer.

“In addition to the first team signings, somewhat under the radar, we have also made a number of exciting youth acquisitions in the past year, reflecting our commitment to bringing the best talent into our academy.

“So far our academy graduates have contributed over a third of first team playing minutes this season and over half of our goals, emphasising our academy’s status as one of the most productive in elite-level European football.

“This is an important competitive advantage for us and represents an excellent return on the fourfold increase in investment that we have made in the academy over recent years.”

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