Phil Neville waxed lyrical about the performance levels of Bruno Fernandes after Manchester United defeated Aston Villa to go level on points with Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Fernandes has been totemic in United’s rise to becoming improbable title contenders this season, and netted the crucial winning penalty to extend their impressive unbeaten run at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese talisman now has 11 goals and seven assists in the league this term, a remarkable record regardless of his proficiency from the spot.
Fernandes’ profound impact at Old Trafford is already drawing comparisons with Eric Cantona that are no longer irreverent.
And United treble winner Neville believes Fernandes now needs to inspire Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to silverware.
“(He was) Sensational!” Neville told Premier League Productions, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
“The only thing he needs now is trophies, to go along with those goals and assists and that impact.
“When he joined 12 months ago, Manchester United were nowhere near Liverpool, Man City, even Chelsea, and now they’re joint-top of the Premier League.
“I think it’s a lot to do with him [Fernandes]. That’s the impact he’s had. He looks like a Manchester United captain and he’s a real leader on the pitch.”
Like Neville, many supporters believe Fernandes is the leader without the armband at Old Trafford.
While his individual statistics are incredible, he demands the best from his teammates on and off the field.
If Solskjaer’s side are to mount the most unlikely title charge this season, Fernandes will be the figurehead.