Paul Scholes has compared Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United legends Eric Cantona and Wayne Rooney, saying the January new boy has ‘brought life’ back into the team.
Fernandes has had a huge impact at Old Trafford since his big-money signing from Sporting Lisbon, with two goals and two assists in five games for his new club.
And Scholes was glowing in his praise for the Portugal playmaker after his instrumental performance in United’s Europa League drubbing of Club Brugge.
The 25-year-old was at the centre of a fine display from the Red Devils, having a hand in all of their first three goals in the 5-0 victory and scoring the opener from the spot himself.
Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Scholes said: “He’s brought a lifeless attacking team to life.
“You wonder where United would be if they’d signed him in the summer. He’s made a team that wasn’t all that watchable at times very watchable.”
Asked what has impressed him about Fernandes, Scholes replied: “Everything so far. His creativity, his awareness on the pitch… before the ball comes he knows what’s happening. More often than not he makes the right pass. He’s sensational.
“He’s got goals in him, too, and you just wonder why nobody else came in for him or why we didn’t get him in the summer.”
And Scholes believes Fernandes can be the club’s next big fan favourite, comparing the impact he has made in the team to that of Cantona and Rooney.
“He looks a special talent, he looks like he can be a hero with the fans as well,” the former England midfielder added.
“You look at your Cantonas, your Wayne Rooneys, these people who are idolised by the fans, you hope that in future he can become a player just as good as them.
“Sometimes it can take one player to make a team click and he looks like that player.
“We knew there were good players there, but they’re not brilliant players. I think this player will make players around him look better.
“You think at all the great teams, you look at Man City in the last eight or nine years with David Silva, he’s made them play football. He has good players around him and he feeds them. Kevin De Bruyne’s taken that mantle over now with City.
“You think of all the great teams here with Cantona playing in that No.10 role.
“He [Fernandes] just looks that type of player to me who can knit a full attack of a team together.
“We say is he a No.10 or a No.8 and when I think of him the only other player I can think of is De Bruyne at City.
“He [De Bruyne] is the best player in the Premier League, but Fernandes is right up there.”