Bruno Fernandes has a habit of going missing in the big games, according to former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara.
The Manchester United man’s stats have been phenomenal since he arrived from Sporting Lisbon 12 months ago.
The midfielder has scored 27 goals and grabbed 17 assists in 49 games in all competitions and was the major driving force in United’s third-placed finish last term.
O’Hara though thinks Fernandes gives the ball away too much – a trait which is frustrating for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“Bruno Fernandes gets built up massively, everyone talks about him being this brilliant player and he is – he’s been fantastic for Man United,” said O’Hara on talkSPORT.
“But in the last few weeks when I’ve watched him against the big clubs, Liverpool and Man City, he’s been poor. The standard of his passing…”
Solskjaer recently joked “I can tear my hair out’ over Fernandes when he loses the ball, but has stressed that he will not interfere with the midfielder’s willingness to take risks.
And O’Hara believes the Portugal international needs to work on his ball retention.
O’Hara added: “Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did a little interview where he says Fernandes ‘frustrates him’, and I can actually see that because he gets in great positions sometimes but he gives the ball away for fun!
“Everyone slaughters Paul Pogba, people give him a hard time, people give Harry Maguire a hard time, I think Scott McTominay was absolutely fantastic for Man United against Liverpool and Luke Shaw.
“But Bruno Fernandes, I’m looking at his performance thinking, ‘Come on, you can score loads of penalties but in those big moments if you want to win the league you need to step up a bit more’. He’s been going missing in these big games.”
Rest for Fernandes?
Despite Fernandes not being at his best last time out in the draw at Anfield, he will not be afforded a rest.
Indeed Solskjaer insists he has no worries about the Portuguese playmaker.
“His form is very good,” the United boss said. “He was just voted Player of the Month (for December). He’s not tired, no, no chance.”
Solskjaer admits to being impressed by the effort Fernandes puts into matches. The United boss also said the Portuguese star’s fitness levels are a very admirable trait too.
“He is one of the players that runs and covers the ground in every single game. He’s very good at recovering and recharging his batteries.
“If he scored his free-kick or if it just had a little air on the ball when Luke (Shaw) put the cross in… He’d have been lauded as the best player in the Premier League again.
“Since he’s come in, he’s been absolutely immense. He’s not tired and if I ask him he’ll say there’s absolutely no chance that he’s tired.”