January signing Bruno Fernandes adds an extra dimension to Manchester United’s attack, according to head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Portuguese midfielder has enjoyed an excellent start to his career at Old Trafford and Ole believes he is already showing all the attributes he expects from a United player.
“We feel we’ve added some X factor and quality with Bruno,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference before the visit of Club Brugge in the UEFA Europa League.
“The addition of Bruno gives us that little bit of a different flavour. He’s a player who likes to play penetrative passes, forward passes.
“He likes to take risks, which a Man United player should do.”
The 25-year-old scored his first goal for the club against Watford on Sunday, and also played a major role in the build-up to United’s second and third strikes, put away by Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.
Ole believes Bruno’s ability to quickly see the intricacies of a game and keep calm under pressure, as evidenced in the Hornets match, is a major reason behind the team’s positive recent run of results.
“I think his imagination, or his overview, his picture, is a couple of seconds ahead of other players,” the Norwegian added.
“That’s one of his strengths: knowing what he wants to do when he gets it.
“He also can change his mind in a split second. If that picture doesn’t work as he thought, he’ll change it. I think that composure has been important for us as well.”
The impact the 19-cap international midfielder has had in his first month in England perhaps isn’t surprising to some, after a hugely productive spell at Sporting Lisbon.
The 25-year-old scored 63 goals and contributed 52 assists in 137 games at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, but Solskjaer thinks playing at a higher level will help Fernandes to get better and better.
“I think he’ll only improve by coming here to a stronger league, with stronger opponents, [and] stronger team-mates getting used to him.
“He’s got that bit of X-factor and that swagger and quality that we want to develop even more. He’s come in and impressed everyone, but we don’t want to put any limit on what he can do.”