Rio Ferdinand has echoed fellow Manchester United legend Roy Keane by claiming that the Red Devils lack leaders in their ranks, with Bruno Fernandes one of a select few to fit the mould.
The Portuguese playmaker offered another indication of how important he is to the collective cause at Old Trafford on his most recent Premier League outing.
United, who have been a little out of sorts over recent weeks, fell behind early on in a crunch clash with Everton.
Inspiration was required from somewhere, and Fernandes stepped up to provide it.
He bagged a brace before the interval at Goodison Park, with the foundations put in place for a 3-1 victory to be secured.
That success has eased some of the pressure that has been building on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but Ferdinand fears the Red Devils are still short of the character required to compete with the elite for major honours.
The former United defender told BT Sport: “There are different types of leaders – there are people who are vocal and organised, when the ball is out of play they are organising and getting in the right positions on the pitch.
“That’s one type of leader. Another is like a Steven Gerrard, who organises by going out and playing and leading by example.
“There are very different kinds of leaders in the game and I don’t think Manchester United have enough leaders in general across the board.
“He [Fernandes] falls into the category of leading by example, of going out and putting in goals and creating loads of chances.
“He is a fantastic player – 31 goal involvements now in 33 games. They need more of that type, not just in terms if output but in actual personalities and characters to get them through difficult stages.”
Ferdinand’s comments come a week after former United captain Keane told Sky Sports on the back of a forgettable 1-0 defeat to Arsenal for the Red Devils: "You're playing at United because you're expected to break these teams down, you’re expected to run back, you're expected to roll your sleeves up. That’s what characters at Manchester United are about.
"I don’t see men out there. I don’t see guys you want to be in the trenches with, guys you trust. Alex Ferguson always used to make the point that you need courage to be a Manchester United player - wanting the ball when you don’t really want it.
"Bravery doesn’t necessarily mean nailing somebody. Bravery means wanting possession, fans on your back, courage to pass the ball forward. We saw United players taking the easy option. They have to do better."