Man Utd: Solskjaer praises Shaw's derby display
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Manchester United’s reliance on Bruno Fernandes has become apparent this season, with his former boss Carlos Carvalhal recently having his say on the situation. But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have a back-up option already at the club.
Indeed, few players have made more of an impact in the Premier League era than Fernandes.
The Portuguese midfielder leads the way for United with the most goals and assists – 23 and 13 respectively – to add to his impressive totals from the second half of last term.
It is no secret that the Portugal international is the gel that holds United’s attack together, while his leadership qualities both on and off the pitch have also been hailed by his team-mates.
But former Swansea City and Sheffield Wednesday boss Carvalhal recently admitted that the club have become too focussed on him.
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“I think it’s not good in any team in the world if you depend too much on one player, so this is not good of course,” he told talkSPORT.
“The best thing would be for the team to work together as a collective, because Manchester United have a lot of players who can be a threat, not just Fernandes.
“When a team depends too much on one player it can be very difficult to achieve something, because opponents find a way to block that player, sometimes the player can get injured or suspended, so you can’t depend on one player.
“Football is a collective game, it’s about 11 players, and while it’s important to have individual players to win a game, you need all the players.
“If you don’t depend so much on one player, and every player makes a difference, you can beat any team.”
The pressure has certainly been on Fernandes to deliver, with Donny van de Beek struggling to make the desired impact following his summer move from Ajax.
The Dutchman was expected to hit the ground running at Old Trafford but has failed to do so, with Solskjaer seemingly reluctant to throw him straight into his first-team XI.
Injuries have furthered slowed his progress, leaving Solskjaer with a tricky decision this summer as he looks to bolster his midfield ranks.
And the manager may well look towards Jesse Lingard, who has been in sensational form on loan at West Ham.
Frozen out by Solskjaer at United, Lingard, 28, was shipped out in January in the hope that he could resurrect his career.
And he’s certainly heading in the right direction, with four goals in six appearances helping the Hammers challenge for an unlikely Champions League spot
The midfielder was on target on Monday night to help them secure a hard-fought 2-0 win over Leeds.
These performances will certainly impress Solskjaer, will Lingard showing the form which saw him play a starring role in England’s journey to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.
And with Van de Beek struggling to settle, perhaps the England man will be given a second chance to show he can be relied upon.
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