There’s ‘no limit’ to what Bruno Fernandes can become at Manchester United because the midfielder possesses a football brain like ‘few’ others in world football.
That’s the verdict of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who believes the Portuguese midfielder has brought some much needed ‘X factor’ to his United side since his £58m move from Sporting Lisbon.
Fernandes scored his first goal for the club from the penalty spot in a 3-0 win against Watford on Sunday and he already has three assists to his name since his move from Portugal.
A poor run of results over the New Year has left United’s pursuit of a Champions League spot in danger but Solskjaer believes Fernandes’ arrival has helped instigate their recent upturn in form and says the midfielder possesses a football brain like ‘few’ others in the world.
‘We feel we’ve added some X-factor and quality with Bruno, definitely,’ said Solskjaer.
‘I think Anthony coming back – he was out for a couple of months as well – getting used to the No.9 position, getting the demands of what that means, but also Scotty has developed. Nemanja has done fantastic when [McTominay’s] been away, Fred as well, the two of them in midfield.
‘But the addition of Bruno gives us that little bit of different flavour, he’s a player who likes to play penetrative, forward passes, likes to take risks, which a Man United player should do.
‘His imagination or his overview and his picture is a couple of seconds ahead of many players, and that’s one of his strengths, knowing what to do when he gets it. He can change his mind in a split second, if that picture doesn’t work he’ll change it and that composure has been important as well for us.
‘I think Bruno will only improve by coming here to a stronger league, stronger opponents and stronger teammates, getting used to us. We want to develop that X-factor. He’s come in and impressed everyone but we don’t want to put a limit on what he can do.’
Fernandes is expected to start at the Theatre of Dreams tomorrow when United take on Club Brugge for a place in the last-16 of the Europa League.
The midfielder was rested for last week’s 1-1 draw in Belgium and only emerged from the bench in the dying minutes.
United will be without Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah who are not yet fit despite training with the squad on Wednesday, while Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba are long-term absentees.
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