Ryan Giggs believes Bruno Fernandes must win trophies at Manchester United before he can be placed in the same echelon as Eric Cantona.
Fernandes has drawn inevitable comparisons with Cantona for his seismic impact at Old Trafford since his arrival from Sporting Lisbon 12 months ago.
The Portuguese playmaker has been totemic in United’s rise to the top of the Premier League and ensured Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side progress through to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a stunning free-kick goal against Liverpool.
Cantona, meanwhile, inspired a sustained period of United dominance after signing from Leeds in 1992 and many believe it is no longer irreverent to compare the two players.
Giggs, who lifted 13 league titles in his 24-year United playing career, has lauded Fernandes for his influence but thinks the midfielder must inspire Solskjaer’s men to silverware in order to be compared to Cantona.
There have been comparisons with Eric and the impact he has had – not just his quality but the fact everyone around him seems to be playing better.
“You can just see he is a winner. When things aren’t going right he is telling other players, he’s having a go at the referee, he is constantly moaning and he wants to win.
“He has been a revelation since he came to United. Like all top players, he has to do it in the big games and then win trophies.
“Of course there are similarities – penalty takers, scoring and assisting goals, same position.
“The results have changed since he came into the club and generally lifted the club. But, Eric won three or four leagues and the FA Cup – that’s the benchmark.
“It’s not easy because there is a lot of quality and not a lot of trophies to win. Once he has done that, then you can talk about him and the likes of Cantona.”
United still have the opportunity to win three trophies this season after the Sunday’s victory over Liverpool.
The Reds face West Ham at home in the FA Cup fifth round but before that have games against Sheffield United, Arsenal, Southampton at Everton as they look to establish their position at the top of the league.