Solskjaer explains why Bruno Fernandes failed to make big impact on Man Utd debut

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Bruno Fernandes was asked to play a deeper role on his debut for Manchester United, and blamed a lack of movement from his forward players for the Portugal midfielder’s failure to make much of an attacking impact.

Fernandes has only been a Red Devils player a little over 48 hours, having completed his protracted €55 million (£47m/$60m) move from Sporting on Thursday evening.

But that did not stop Solskjaer from pitching his new signing straight into the starting line-up for Saturday’s goalless draw against Wolves at Old Trafford.

It was a solid enough debut by the Portugal international, but one in which both sides struggled to create many clear-cut chances.

Solskjaer explained after the game that the role Fernandes was asked to play maybe nullified his attacking threat, but was encouraged by his performance and feels he will go on to be a key player for the club.

"We got Bruno deeper on the ball for us,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports. “I felt we controlled the first half as well. In the second half we threatened a little bit more. I feel the ground staff must have moved the goal slightly to the right!

“Bruno is a top player. It's the first game. First half everyone was getting the ball into feet and Bruno is one of those who, when he gets it into feet, he wants players moving in front of him and we didn't move enough in front of him. We moved him further back to get him on the ball more. He'll be a top, top addition.”

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United defender Luke Shaw was also encouraged by Fernandes’ performance and believes he will settle in further during the club’s mid-season training camp next week, with a 16-day gap to come between now and United’s next match against Chelsea.

“He's only be able to train with us once and that was a very light session, but we are all looking forward to seeing what he can bring,” Shaw told the club’s official website. “We've seen that he is a fantastic player, we all know that he is.

"Today was not an easy game to come into but I thought he did well. There's a good sign of things to come and we will all help him. We have a nice training camp coming up to help him feel welcome.”