Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer compares Bruno Fernandes to Scholes and Veron

Melissa Reddy
Bruno Fernandes lit up Old Trafford against Watford: EPA

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saluted the immediate lift Bruno Fernandes has given Manchester United, likening the Portugal international to a Paul Scholes and Juan Sebastian Veron hybrid.

The 25-year-old produced another game-changing performance in a 3-0 victory over Watford at Old Trafford on Sunday, with a goal and an assist to complement his role as the club’s creative force.

Fernandes converted a penalty – complete with a confident skip before striking it – to open his United account and Solskjaer explained his seamless on-pitch transition since joining from Sporting CP in January in a £68 million package deal has not been a surprise.

“In today’s market, I think we got a good deal,” the United manager said. “He has come in and done really well and given everyone a boost. It means more than just getting a player in, he has lifted the supporters. 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 in training. 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, with the temperament of Veron and a lot of the quality of Scholesy.

“He is going to be a very important part of what we do. We have needed that. He knows is coming here to play. He risks the ball like Veron did and I used to enjoy playing with Seba because you make runs and he looks for you.”

Solskjaer revealed there was no apprehension from the technical team when Fernandes stepped up to take the spot-kick that gave United the lead instead of Antony Martial. The playmaker, who has scored each of the last 13 penalties he has taken in top-flight football, had been cooly dispatching them in training.

“He has been known for his set plays,” Solskjaer said. “He has practised quite a few penalties and I wasn’t in doubt what he would score. He is a big piece of what we’re building and an important one as we get to the business end of the field.

“We have spent with Harry [Maguire] and Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] and now we have got the No 10 nailed down. He is a box-to-box midfielder. He can do everything – in some games he will play in a two, some in an attacking midfield, some as a 10."