Bruno Fernandes has seen a rejuvenation of form in recent weeks. The Portuguese midfielder has returned to something close to the goalscoring exploits of his first two seasons at Manchester United, as the team adjusts to life under new manager Ralf Rangnick.
Fernandes spoke to the media ahead of United's Champions League trip to face Atletico Madrid in the Spanish capital.
He made some intriguing comments which suggest he thinks Rangnick has improved the side since taking over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Atletico Madrid v Manchester United: Bruno Fernandes thinks Rangnick has steadied ship in Manchester
Manchester United were in dire straits towards the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign. Heavy losses to Leicester, Watford, and bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester City spelt the end for the Norwegian manager, and he was replaced by German Ralf Rangnick.
Bruno Fernandes has been crucial to United's style of play since joining from Sporting CP in January 2020. His form of late has improved dramatically, with four goals and three assists in his last seven Premier League games.
Speaking to the media before the Champions League clash with Atletico, he played down reports that the squad are unhappy with Rangnick as manager. He went as far as saying that he believes they are in a better position than they were under his predecessor Solskjaer:
That doesn't respect the coach's ideas because I think we have been doing so well since he arrived. We have more identity as a team.
I don't know what people mean by [the rumours] honestly.
Rangnick has generally overseen a steadying of the ship at Old Trafford. Though results have not been spectacular, he has only lost one game in charge and sees United sit in fourth place in the table. They were in seventh when Solskjaer left.
There have been reports of discontent with Rangnick's coaching staff, as well as rifts between Cristiano Ronaldo and the club's younger players. Recent reports suggested that Ronaldo would be made captain in place of the out-of-form Harry Maguire.
Fernandes' comments about Maguire would suggest that the England centre-back remains a popular figure among the squad. Fernandes joked about his celebration when Maguire scored his first goal of the season against Leeds on Sunday.
I saw the goal of Maguire and I'm seeing Paul Pogba behind him sliding on his knees. I was slapping [Maguire's] head and saying 'how can you score with that big head?'
I think honestly it's just people trying to complain and make stories about this club, because we know when someone talks about us they go around the world with their voice and that's something they want.
For us, it means nothing. We stick to the plan and we stick together. That's the main thing - sticking together and winning together.
It will be intriguing to see which Manchester United side show up against Atletico Madrid.
If the unity Fernandes spoke of in his pre-match press conference is present, United should be able to topple the Spanish champions. But there have been plenty of "over the hump" moments for this team already this season, so it is hard to say with certainty whether that will be the case.