Bruno Fernandes spoke highly of Donny van de Beek after his fellow Manchester United midfielder swapped into his trademark role on Sunday.
Van de Beek earned a rare start for United in the Red Devils’ 3-2 FA Cup win over Liverpool.
But as well as having another chance to earn minutes this season, the Dutchman played in Fernandes’ advanced midfield role.
The Portuguese has had a stunning impact in that position since signing for United a year ago.
As such, Van de Beek may have felt pressure to perform, also given his recent lack of minutes.
But speaking to MUTV, Fernandes relayed his glowing assessment of the midfielder’s performance.
“If you look at the bench and the first XI today and the ones at home we have a really good squad, it will not be a problem if we change the team or someone is tired because we have really good players.
“Donny did a great game, playing in the position I play watching him he moves really good, he played really well. It’s important for us.
“If I was in the position of Donny I would not be happy at all but the most important is doing what he does today, coming in and helping the team.”
But Fernandes replaced Van de Beek after 66 minutes and came up with the most telling contribution of the match.
Indeed, he fired a free kick past Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson to make it 3-2. What’s more, the set piece proved to be the winning goal as United advanced to the fifth round.
Solskjaer reveals Fernandes preparations
Meanwhile, Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed that Fernandes had practised free kicks in training on Saturday.
In fact, the midfielder put in an extra 45 minutes of work in preparation for Sunday’s huge clash.
As such, Solskjaer revealed his prior confidence about the chances of a set-piece going in if Fernandes had the chance.