‘You wonder where United would be if they’d signed him in the summer’: Paul Scholes waxes lyrical about Man United January addition Bruno Fernandes after starring in 5-0 win over Club Brugge
- Manchester United sealed huge Europa League last-32 win over Club Brugge
- January signing Bruno Fernandes scored penalty and starred throughout
- Paul Scholes lavished praise upon the £68million man for his immediate impact
After drawing the first leg 1-1, Fernandes converted a penalty before playing a key role in goals for Scott McTominay and Odion Ighalo, with a late brace from Fred sealing a 6-1 aggregate win.
Having joined from Sporting Lisbon late in January for £68million after a protracted transfer that took almost a year to complete, Fernandes shone in his five matches to date that have brought two goals and two assists with Scholes left impressed.
Bruno Fernandes enjoyed another impressive outing for Manchester United against Brugge
BT Sport pundit Paul Scholes likes what he has seen so far from the Portuguese midfielder
Scholes told BT Sport: ‘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.’
The Portuguese arrived from Liga NOS with a reputation for scoring and creating and has already brought those assets to bear for his new club.
Fernandes opened the scoring with a nonchalant penalty after just half an hour of the game
His arrival has coincided with an impressive run of seven games unbeaten and Scholes’ fellow pundit Owen Hargreaves was impressed enough to draw comparisons with his former team-mate.
Hargreaves said: ‘He looks incredibly good value already.
‘There are a lot of smiles after the game. The other players look so much better. He’s just so smart. Like when I played with Scholesy he was always one or two steps ahead of people. The fans are chanting “Bruno!”‘
On-loan striker Odion Ighalo found the net for his first goal for the club after a January move
Ighalo, a fellow last-minute January recruit on loan from China, grabbed his first goal for the club on what was his first start after three substitute appearances.
With regular strikers Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford ruled out through injury, Scholes believes the Nigerian has the perfect chance to impress.
Scholes added: ‘He did well tonight, he looked sharp. He hasn’t played since December 1. He’s come to the team at the right time – just as in a creative player in Fernandes has come in.’
Hargreaves said of the striker: ‘I like the fact he gives them a reference point. He’s really comfortable with his back to the defender and I think he did that well today.’