Bruno Fernandes continues to display “Paul Scholes-esque” qualities at Manchester United, says Dimitar Berbatov, but the former Red Devils striker believes a talismanic presence can get even better.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has found considerable value in a deal done with Sporting during the last winter transfer window.
Fernandes slotted seamlessly into the fold at Old Trafford, with his presence providing the spark for a late-season run in 2019-20 that delivered a third-place finish and Champions League qualification.
There was a slight wobble from the Portuguese early in the current campaign, but high standards have been maintained by the talented 26-year-old.
His quality was on full display once more in a 4-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir, as Fernandes bagged a brace in that contest, and Berbatov sees shades of a United icon from the past in a leading man of the present.
“The opening goal in the win, that Bruno scored from outside the box, was amazing,” Berbatov told Betfair.
“Let me tell you, that technique is so difficult to do. I was never a big specialist at scoring from outside the box. Fernandes' strike was Scholes-esque, that was his specialty, you could imagine Paul Scholes scoring that one, when the ball comes across to him, bam and into the top corner. It was perfect execution.”
While talking up Fernandes’ current ability and value in Manchester, Berbatov believes the Portugal international can scale even greater heights by addressing the few faults that still exist in his game.
The Bulgarian added: “Fernandes has impressed me so much and the only weakness I see in him is his defensive side. He can improve a bit there.
“He's an attacking midfielder, though, who creates chances, scores goals and up the pitch is where he has his power. That's why I think it's good to have someone in the team to cover for him.
“Other than his defensive weakness, he is doing everything that the manager wants from him and, with 20 goals since he joined in January, he's certainly scored more than people expected.
“He is phenomenal in the passing and scoring department and since he joined the club he is doing everything that he needs to do.”