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‘Scholes-esque Fernandes makes everybody else better’ – Hargreaves hails Man Utd new boy

10:59 GMT+3 12/03/2020
Bruno Fernandes Manchester United 2019-20
The former Red Devils midfielder claims the likes of Fred and Nemanja Matic are already benefitting from the Portuguese’s presence at Old Trafford

Bruno Fernandes has quickly become a Paul Scholes-esque presence for Manchester United, says Owen Hargreaves, with the Portuguese midfielder making “everybody else play better”.

Plaudits have rained down on a January addition at Old Trafford since he completed a €55 million (£47m/$60m) move from Sporting.

Big things were expected of him, with the Red Devils having pursued his signature for some time, but the speed in which Fernandes has settled in England has come as a welcome surprise to everybody.

The 25-year-old has hit the ground running, offering added creativity and goal threat to the United cause, and comparisons are already being made between a new boy and superstars of the past.

Former midfielder Hargreaves told United’s ‘Tunnel Insider’ series of Fernandes and the impact he has made in a short space of time: “Well I think you can just look at the other players around him.

“I know that Fred has been playing well this season, but I think he looks more comfortable with having another ball player who he can get it into on the half-turn.

“With Anthony Martial, you saw a connection with the goal [in a 2-0 derby win over Manchester City] - I don't think that was a training-ground one, it was just pure instinct.

“City played a high line, Martial recognised the space and Bruno played a brilliant ball over the top. He is just a really good player and good players love to play together. 

“I was saying to Scholesy, when we did a show together a few weeks ago, we are never going to see another Paul Scholes but Bruno has that capacity to make everybody else play better and to play football.

“It looks like the boys are enjoying it. [Nemanja] Matic looks great with him, Fred looks great with him, Anthony has got a partnership there and, really, everybody looks better with him.

“I think he has taken on a bit of leadership, which is important, and he works hard. In every phase, he has probably improved or played better than everybody could have hoped for.”

Fernandes’ next outing for United could come in the Europa League on Thursday, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side preparing for the first leg of a last-16 showdown with Austrian side LASK that will be played behind closed doors.