Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed the one area of his game that Bruno Fernandes needs to develop. The Portugese midfielder scored his first United goal from the penalty spot in Sunday’s 3-0 win against Watford.
Solskjaer has been impressed by Fernandes’ impact at Old Trafford and believes the 25-year-old has no limit to his potential.
“I think Bruno will only improve by coming here to a stronger league, stronger opponents and stronger teammates, getting used to us,” Solskjaer said.
“We want to develop that x-factor. He’s come in and impressed everyone but we don’t want to put a limit on what he can do.”
Fernandes signed for £47million in January with the fee rising to the £68million Sporting Lisbon originally wanted should the player achieve certain milestones such as winning the Ballon d’Or.
The United boss also claimed that Fernandes is the sort of player United have missed in recent years.
“We feel we’ve added some x factor quality with Bruno,” he continued.
“The addition of Bruno gives us a bit of a different flavour. He likes to play forward passes and take risks, which a Man United player should do.
“His imagination and his overview, picture, is a couple of seconds ahead of many players.”
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“It is one of his strengths he knows what he wants to do. He can change his mind in a split-second. That composure has been important.”
Solskjaer was speaking ahead of Thursday’s Europa League last-32 second-leg against Club Brugge at Old Trafford and compared Fernandes to some of the United legends he played with during his 235 Red Devils appearances.
“You need many many attributes to play the perfect game or be the perfect team,” Solskjaer explained.
“We want the swagger, the confidence, to believe in ourselves, but you still want your players to be humble.
“I played with Becks, Giggsy, the graveyard shifts down the side. That’s one of the compliments the gaffer used to get from other managers – they had ability but also worked harder than the others.
“I want my team to be one of the hardest working teams in the league. But that’s not an attitude thing. That’s what you’re supposed to do.
“You can blossom more with confidence, and speaking to the manager, getting them free. You want them to be free. Play with courage, bravery and you want bit of fear in you. It is a fine balance between arrogance, confident, humble.”
United drew 1-1 in Belgium last week against Club Brugge but hold a slender advantage from the first leg thanks to Anthony Martial’s away goal.
United were boosted by Mason Greenwood and Scott McTominay’s return from injury against Watford but will still be without long-term absentees Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford for the second-leg.
“Anthony coming back, he was out for a couple of months, means he’s getting used to the no.9 position,” Solskjaer said.
“Scott has developed but Nemanja and Fred have done well.”
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