Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Bruno Fernandes is making a huge difference because he is a “risk-taker” and is willing to make mistakes. And the Portuguese playmaker put in another impressive performance on Sunday as United beat rivals Manchester City 2-0.
Fernandes was an expensive addition as United forked out an initial fee of £47million (€55m) to Sporting Lisbon in the January window to bring him to Old Trafford.
However, the 25-year-old has quickly shown his worth and already has three goals and three assists in just eight appearances for the Red Devils.
When Solskjaer was asked about Fernandes’ influence after yesterday’s victory the Norwegian praised the player’s character.
“The whole club [has been lifted]. Because he has everything I spoke about,” said Solskjaer.
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“He works hard, he is humble enough, he’s got the desire and commitment, but he’s also got the X-factor.
“He is a risk-taker, he’s got the courage to make mistakes and if you make enough mistakes it’ll be corrected into fantastic assists or goals.
“You need a character here, you need character at this club, but this team they have got that.
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“They have learned through some hard times this season, because we have been a young team and we have started something we believe in and Bruno has helped that.”
United are now unbeaten in their last 10 games, recording seven wins and three draws, which is their longest run without a defeat since Solskjaer’s first 11 games in charge of the club.
Fernandes was involved in the opening goal when his quick free-kick sent Anthony Martial through on goal and his near post shot was too powerful for City’s keeper Ederson to stop.
The Brazilian was then a fault for United’s second goal which came six minutes into added time at the end of the game.
Standing near the corner of his box he overthrew the ball and Scott McTominay took advantage as he showed great technique in finding the empty net from a first-time shot.
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The win over City keeps the Red Devils fifth in the Premier League and maintains their pressure on fourth-placed Chelsea, who remain three points ahead of them.
While Solskjaer is under pressure to secure Champions League football for United next season, the manager feels his squad is improving under his guidance.
“It’s a privilege to be their manager,” Solskjaer told BBC Sport.
“They give absolutely everything. They know they are all good players but they want to learn as well.
“We feel we are improving as a squad and a team. We feel the fans want us to do well and they see what we are doing, so it is getting better and better.
“But we are still fifth. We need points to catch Chelsea and Leicester, so need to keep plugging away.”
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