It’s safe to say that Bruno Fernandes’ first forrays into English football have certainly been successful, though Paul Scholes admits he’s only got one doubt about the Portuguese Magnifico.
Fernandes has taken to life in the Premier League like a duck to water, scoring three times and providing four assists, the 25-year-old’s arrival coinciding with an upturn in form for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side who are currently unbeaten in their last 11 outings.
The former Sporting Lisbon captain has been utilised in an advanced midfield role, a role occupied by Paul Scholes during his early days at Old Trafford. However, while Scholes dropped deeper into midfield as his career progressed, the former England international isn’t sure if the Manchester United number 18 would be suited to making a similar transition.
“The one thing with Bruno is he doesn’t look like a central midfielder to me, he’s an out and out number 10,” Scholes told the BBC.
“He’s great on the ball, always on the half turn and he’s the link that United really needed. They lacked that quality in midfield and since he came in he’s had that. He can feed the ball in to players, he’s got a great shot on him and he looks like a real leader as well. United had lacked that.
“Whether he can play in midfield in a two, that’s yet to be seen. He’s more like an Eric Cantona, a Teddy Sheringham – he can beat players as well. He is somebody who brings what was sadly missing at Old Trafford and he seems to have livened up everyone. The team is playing well and they look like scoring goals.
“They are still behind, but they have bought a brilliant player in who seems to have knitted it all together. They did have a really good group of players but missed that one person who can make a difference – like a David Silva or Kevin de Bruyne who can glue the team together with their attacking movements.
“I still think they are a bit off the pace, they’ve looked good lately since Fernandes came in but Liverpool and Manchester City are streets ahead. There are three or four signings that can help but for the first time in a long time you feel like they could close the gap to the top.”