Bruno Fernandes vowed to help Manchester United “conquer” the race for a Champions League place following his impressive display in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Watford at Old Trafford.
The midfielder scored his first goal for the club – a 42nd-minute penalty – and also created second-half strikes for Anthony Martial, whose finish particularly impressed, and Mason Greenwood as United moved to within three points of Chelsea in fourth.
“This is what I want to do and what I need to do,” said Fernandes, who signed for an initial £46m last month from Sporting. “Everyone knows we want to get into the Champions League places. I am here to help the team conquer this and keep winning games.
“This is the day every player wants to have. I feel lucky to score, I feel lucky to win the game. We all gave our best and we all deserved the win. I just need to help the team [and] I hope Martial scores more goals too like he did.”
Fernandes’s spot-kick featured him jumping in the air before he stroked it home. “It’s the way I shoot a penalty, it’s where I feel confident,” said the 25-year-old. “I do not shoot only that way but it felt the best way today.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjær was asked if Fernandes’s fee looks a bargain. “In today’s market I think we got a good deal,” the manager said. “He has come in and done really well and given everyone a boost. It means more than just getting a player in: the fans are used to players with that personality, mentality and quality.
“He has come in from day one and felt like a presence in the group from the first minute, demanding the ball. Some players take some time in warming up but he felt confident right away. It is a bit of a mix between Scholes and Veron, the temperament of Veron and a lot of the quality of Scholes.”
“He is one of the pieces we are trying to put together. He is a big piece and an important one as we get to the business end of the field. He is a box-to-box midfielder. He can do everything a midfielder can do. Some games he will play in a two, some in an attacking midfield, some as a 10.”