Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels Bruno Fernandes is similar to his former team-mates Paul Scholes and Juan Sebastian Veron in the way that he performs on the pitch.
Solskjaer believes his new recruit will make a huge difference to the way United operate as other players will be encouraged to make runs, knowing he will deliver the right passes.
Although he has already switched positions in midfield, it is likely that the Portugal international will primarily be used in the no.10 slot in order to attack defences.
“Now we’ve got the no.10 or attacking midfielder nailed down,” said Solskjaer. “Hopefully, he’ll keep fit and keep producing performances.
“He’s a box-to-box midfielder and can do everything a midfielder can. He’s similar, as I said, to Veron and Scholes. Some games he’ll play in a four, and some games he’ll play attacking midfielder or a 10. He’s played every position in midfield.”
The forwards will benefit from Fernandes’s promptings and the early signs are looking positive after his passes led to goals for both Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood. The former Sporting Lisbon star also floated a ball on to Harry Maguire’s head but the big defender planted it wide in the second half.
“Bruno has come in to be a very important player,” added Ole. “We’ve needed that type of player. He knows he’s here to play. One of the good things about him is he takes risks with the ball, like Veron did.
“I used to love playing with Seba because you’d run and you’d get the ball. If he doesn’t hit you, at least he’s looking for you and that’s what Bruno does. That will encourage players to make more runs, I hope, because there aren’t enough of them still.”
Fernandes was a clear Man-of-the-Match in the Official App, registering a whopping 81 per cent of the vote, well clear of Martial and Greenwood.
He made five crosses, drew the most fouls and was second only to Nemanja Matic in terms of distance covered from a United perspective, third overall behind Watford’s Will Hughes.