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Bruno Fernandes’ arrival at Manchester United is unquestionably the defining moment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s managerial career so far.
In signing the Sporting superstar, Solskjaer was handed the kind of talisman that title winning teams can be built around.
United were linked with Fernandes for weeks before finally sealing the £47million deal at the end of that January transfer window in 2020.
Solskjaer singled out the 26-year-old, with the Norwegian desperate to add the kind of creative force that had been so lacking from his side.
Bruno Fernandes made an instant impact after arriving last January
(Image: 2020 Manchester United FC)
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Upon signing him, the United boss hailed his new signing’s ability to both create and score goals, after a stunning spell in the Portuguese top-flight.
After Fernandes' arrival, he said: “We have been tracking Bruno for many months and everyone here has been tremendously impressed with all his attributes and what he will bring to this team.
“Most importantly he is a terrific human being with a great personality and his leadership qualities are clear for all to see.
“Bruno’s goals and assists stats speak for themselves, he will be a fantastic addition to our team and he will help us push on in the second part of the season.”
Fernandes has provided the kind of output that Solskjaer would have dreamed of
That summary has been proven correct…and then some, in his opening 12 months in English football.
27 goals and 17 assists in just 49 games highlight United and Solskjaer have got exactly what they had wished for in their wildest dreams.
But perhaps one unexpected trait that has taken some by surprise is Fernandes’ unwilling desire and relentless work rate in the pursuit of success.
In fact, his all-round displays have led to some thinking he could do with a well earned rest after a hectic festive fixture schedule.
Fernandes has failed to score from open play in his last four games and cut a frustrated figure in the recent 0-0 draw with Liverpool.
He was visibly frustrated to be taken off in the closing stages of the draw at Anfield
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)
Dimitar Berbatov admits he was wrong about Bruno Fernandes to Man Utd transfer
Solskjaer was asked whether his star man could be left out of a Premier League line-up for just the second time, when they face Fulham tonight.
“His form is very good, he was just voted the Player of the Month,” he said. “He’s not tired, no.
“No chance. He’s one of the players who runs and covers the ground in every single game. He’s very good at recovery, very good at recharging his batteries."
United have got more than they could have ever wished from that January transfer, but those all-action displays could eventually force his manager’s hand.
Should Bruno Fernandes be rested for Man Utd's game vs Fulham? Have your say here.
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