Paul Scholes has heaped praise on Bruno Fernandes following his brilliant start to life at Manchester United. The Portugal international has taken the Premier League by storm since his arrival from Sporting Lisbon in January, providing two goals and three assists in five appearances.
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While he has provided fireworks on the pitch with his attacking contributions, Scholes has been impressed by Fernandes’ leadership skills, which the Old Trafford legend believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team was desperately lacking.
“The one thing with Bruno is he doesn’t look like a central midfielder to me, he’s an out and out number 10,” Scholes said on BBC Radio 5 Live.
“He’s great on the ball, always on the half turn and he’s the link that United really needed.
“They lacked that quality in midfield and since he came in he’s had that. He can feed the ball in to players, he’s got a great shot on him and he looks like a real leader as well. United had lacked that.”
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Fernandes has been compared to Scholes by Solskjaer but the former England midfielder believes he has a similar style of play to Eric Cantona.
“Whether he can play in midfield in a two, that’s yet to be seen,” Scholes mused. “He’s more like an Eric Cantona, a Teddy Sheringham – he can beat players as well.
“He is somebody who brings what was sadly missing at Old Trafford and he seems to have livened up everyone. The team is playing well and they look like scoring goals.
“They are still behind, but they have bought a brilliant player in who seems to have knitted it all together. They did have a really good group of players but missed that one person who can make a difference – like a David Silva or Kevin de Bruyne who can glue the team together with their attacking movements.”
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United climbed up to fifth in the Premier League table before the coronavirus pandemic brought about the suspension of professional football.
Despite being one of the form teams since the start of the calendar year, Scholes still believes his old club are still lagging some way behind the top two.
He said: “I still think they are a bit off the pace, they’ve looked good lately since Fernandes came in but Liverpool and Manchester City are streets ahead.
“There are three or four signings that can help but for the first time in a long time you feel like they could close the gap to the top.”
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