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‘Fernandes plays at his own speed like De Bruyne’ – Hargreaves hails Man Utd’s new talisman

13:01 WAT 13/03/2020
Bruno Fernandes Manchester United 2019-20
The former Red Devils midfielder is a big fan of a Portugal international that has made a stunning impact in a short space of time at Old Trafford

Bruno Fernandes “plays at his own speed” in a manner similar to Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, says Owen Hargreaves, with Manchester United having found a player who has “given everyone at the club a lift”.

A Portugal international midfielder arrived at Old Trafford in the January transfer window with a big reputation and plenty of potential to unlock.

He has, however, exceeded all expectations, with a €55 million (£47m/$60m) price tag already being made to look like quite the bargain – given the inflated fees in modern transfer windows.

Fernandes has hit the ground running with United, becoming a talismanic presence in the Red Devils’ engine room during the ongoing injury-enforced absence of Paul Pogba.

His creativity has sparked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side into life as an attacking force, with the 25-year-old offering plenty of goal threat of his own.

It is, however, his game management which has been most impressive, with Fernandes able to dictate the tempo of matches from the middle of the park while offering a sense of composure and assurance to those around him.

Few can claim to boast such qualities at the very highest level, with Hargreaves suggesting that a United new boy now sits alongside a domestic rival from across Manchester when it comes to making the art of playmaking look easy.

The former Red Devils midfielder told BT Sport after witnessing Fernandes’ latest outing in a 5-0 Europa League win over LASK: “Every time he gets the ball he makes something happen.

“Fernandes is on fire, he created five chances in the first half.

“Like De Bruyne, he plays at his own speed, he's never rushed, finds pockets of space.

“He just has a feel of when to do things.”

Hargreaves added that Fernandes’ arrival at United has “given everyone at the club a lift”, with Solskjaer’s side enjoying a welcome upturn in form since bolstering their ranks over the winter.

They have moved back into contention for a top-four finish in the Premier League, while FA Cup and Europa League glory is still there to be shot at once decisions regarding the scheduling of matches in England and across Europe has been determined amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.