Solskjaer: Fernandes is 'catalyst' for 'next step' in Manchester United trophy bid


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Bruno Fernandes has been the "catalyst" for Manchester United as they look to take the "next step" and bring a long wait for major silverware to a close.

The Red Devils were treading water when the Portuguese playmaker was snapped up from Sporting CP during the winter transfer window of 2020.

He has quickly become a talisman at Old Trafford with 40 goals in 80 appearances, and the 26-year-old has made no secret that he wants to bring a five-year trophy drought for Solskjaer's side to an end as quickly as possible.

What has been said?

United's boss has told the club's official website: "I think we’re developing. We’re progressing. Last season was a good season, apart from you don’t end up with a trophy. I think everyone can see the progress. The season before, coming third was a great achievement after all the changes we’d made, tried to gel a new team in. 

"Of course when Bruno came in that was a catalyst for winning more games and last season I felt we were so close to challenging for the top. Now the next step has to be there. 

"We just have to improve, hopefully we can add some quality to the squad and we’re ready to start the season well. That’s the main thing – to start well. The first game, then the first little bulk of games, to give us a foundation to build on."

How close have United come to winning a trophy?

The Red Devils have an unfortunate habit of falling at the final hurdle in pursuit of major honours.

Article continues below

Semi-final defeats have been suffered in the Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup across the last two seasons, while the 2020-21 campaign saw Solskjaer's side suffer continental heartache against Villarreal in the final.

They also finished as runners-up in the Premier League, with arch-rivals Manchester City surging clear at the summit.

Further reading