‘He’s been sensational from the day he signed’: Paul Scholes hails Manchester United ‘leader’ Bruno Fernandes as Owen Hargreaves claims his impact has been ‘off the charts’ after midfielder scored twice in 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad
Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves lauded the impact of Bruno Fernandes after he inspired Manchester United to a 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad.
The attacking midfielder took advantage of a defensive mix-up to open the scoring in the 27th minute and grabbed another goal i the second half as the Red Devils took a giant step towards the Europa League last 16.
Fernandes now has 21 goals and 12 assists in all competitions and former United players Scholes and Hargreaves were full of praise for the Portugal international after the game.
Bruno Fernandes scored twice as Manchester United beat Real Sociedad 4-0 on Thursday
Paul Scholes (left) and Owen Hargreaves (right) hailed the impact of the midfielder
‘He’s been sensational from the day he signed, he makes the team play football,’ Scholes told BT Sport.
‘Every single time he plays, he affects the game. He’s been a truly, truly terrific signing.
He was almost playing as No 9 tonight, the amount of times he was spinning in behind and running through.
It was a great pass from Marcus (for the first goal) and a great run. It was very clever play from Fernandes, he realises no one is in control of it and he’s there to pick up the pieces. There’s almost ice running through his veins when he’s got a chance to score.’
The Portugal international scored his 20th and 21st goals of the season in the emphatic win
Hargreaves compared the 26-year-old to Manchester City captain Kevin De Bruyne for the way he takes his time when he gets into the final third.
‘He’s a bit like Kevin De Bruyne in those key moments, he doesn’t rush, he waits and takes a bit of care,’ said Hargreaves.
‘In terms of finishing and playing the final pass that’s important. A lot of young kids try to rush it, they get excited that they’re in there but Bruno always seems to take his time and his impact has been off the charts.
‘Every time he plays he creates, he scores. You can’t get over how important a player he is at United and even in just in Europe in terms of goals and assists, his impact is remarkable.’
Both Scholes and Hargreaves acknowledged Fernandes could be captain material for the Red Devils and praised the leadership he showed by making his team-mates celebrate the third goal with the subs warming-up.
Fernandes ensured the team celebrated the third goal with the substitutes warming-up
‘He does look like a captain type of leader,’ said Scholes. ‘Them type of players aren’t captain very often. It does tend to be someone in those defensive areas, but whoever has the armband it doesn’t really matter. You still needs leaders out there.’
Hargreaves added: ‘Harry Maguire is captain and he’s been so important for United at the back but I think Fernandes as a leader, his impact has been off the charts.
‘He’s said the right words after games. When he tried to bring all the players together towards the subs shows he’s trying to keep the players together and that’s a sign of a real leader.’