Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes is the team’s “leader” believes club legend Rio Ferdinand, after watching the Portugal playmaker inspire a comeback win over Everton at Goodison Park on the weekend. Fernandes scored twice and set up another in a 3-1 victory over the Toffees.
United had slipped behind with pressure rising on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and speculation that he could be sacked if the Red Devils lost on Merseyside.
But Fernandes scored twice before half-time before setting up Edinson Cavani’s stoppage-time strike to seal the three points when he might have scored a third goal of his own.
The 26-year-old, signed back in January from Sporting Lisbon, now has 13 goals and 10 assists in just 21 Premier League appearances.
The Portuguese international has been a driving force for United offensively ever since his arrival and Ferdinand believes the attacking midfielder is the team’s go-to leader on the pitch.
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“The talisman, who I believe is now the leader at Manchester United, Bruno Fernandes, stepped up,” iconic former United centre-back Ferdinand said while discussing five major talking points from the Premier League last weekend on his FIVE YouTube channel.
“When the time is most important, this guy stands up. He has 31 goal involvements in 33 games. That is outstanding.
“That is a crazy consistency which this team needs. For him to produce those numbers in a very inconsistent team says it all.
“After the game he said it doesn’t matter who scores, at the end he could have had a hat-trick but it’s not about that.
“He wanted to give Cavani that confidence and to get him on that road. So listen, it’s good.
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“It’s a good problem for Solskjaer. Does he stick with Martial or throw Cavani in?
“These are great problems for Ole. He needed a result, he picked a team for the occasion and they produced the goods.”
Despite his match-winning display against Everton, United boss Solskjaer declared that he was frustrated with the No 10’s performance.
“Great performance. Of course leading the boys, there’s desire and determination,” the Norwegian coach.
“He’s everywhere on the pitch! Sometimes that frustrates me, because sometimes there’s passes being played where he should have been and he’s not there.
“But you know when you’ve got someone who drives them on like this, of course you’re very happy.”
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While United captain Harry Maguire declared of Fernandes: “Bruno was excellent today. He came under a little bit of stick on Wednesday night.
“But he’s a big character, he’s a big leader, and he’s reacted brilliantly. And that’s only what he does.
“He does his talking on the pitch and I’m delighted that he’s got a couple of goals – or whatever you want to call it, a goal and an assist. But he was brilliant out there and helped us get the victory.”
Speaking himself post-match, Fernandes called upon his United team-mates to stand up and be counted as they look to bounce back from some poor recent results.
He said to BT Sport: “I think we know inside of the dressing room what we have to do with the players we have. Everyone needs to be a leader.
“Some people need to lift the mood, they don’t talk too much but they are doing the right things. Others need to speak a little bit more, be more involved in the game, to feel more part of the game.
“At the end of the game, three points is for everyone not just one player.”
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