Bruno Fernandes got Manchester United out of trouble with two goals against Everton, as well as an assist, and he’s earned high praise from Phil Neville.
The Manchester United legend has compared Bruno Fernandes to Wayne Rooney and Eric Cantona — but insisted the Portuguese midfielder is playing in a worse team.
This assessment comes after Fernandes scored two quick-fire first half goals against Everton on Saturday — to give United a 2-1 lead after coming from behind — and he assisted Edinson Cavani for his first goal for the club after coming off the bench.
Fernandes was influential at best and without him on the pitch against Carlo Ancelotti’s side, I doubt we would have got anything from yesterday’s game.
Ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand described him as a leader after the match on BT Sport, which is exactly what P. Neville is getting at when he compares him to Rooney and Cantona.
“Since he joined the club I don’t think he’s had a dip yet,” Neville told Premier League Productions (via Daily Express). “You thought after his first initial goals, assists and impact that he made, you thought ‘Where’s that dip coming? Can he do it in the second season? He’s doing it even better.
“When he speaks, he speaks like a Manchester United player, he speaks like a Manchester United captain, he speaks like a leader, he speaks like someone who wants to win. I think he’s a special player.
“You’ve seen players that have come to Manchester United over the last probably 10, 15 years, I don’t think anyone has had as big an impact in such a short space of time as him.
“Maybe Rooney, maybe Cantona, those types of names, I think he’s had a similar impact too.
“His stats, his goals, his assists, his performances. Rooney came in and scored a hat-trick in his first game, Cantona comes in, puts his collar up and says ‘I’m a Manchester United plater’.
“That type of impact he’s had, even in a team that probably isn’t as good as that team Rooney and Cantona played in.”
Fernandes was a Solskjaer signing and we shouldn’t forget that during a time the media wants to point out every reason why United should hire Mauricio Pochettino during the international break.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say there’s an agenda — results speak for themselves — but it sells newspapers and clicks increase when there’s speculation like this surrounding the biggest club in the world.
But if United didn’t sign Fernandes last January, do you think Solskjaer would still be in a job?
He’s had a significant impact since coming in. Maybe the board should have listened to the manager in the summer when he named his prime targets to strengthen the team. It’s pretty clear they didn’t.