Bruno Fernandes had another fine game for Manchester United against Everton, making the latest edition of Garth Crooks’ Premier League team of the week.
The Portugal international has shone since joining Man Utd from Sporting Lisbon in January, and it’s arguably his leadership and winning mentality that make him stand out, even more than his quality on the ball and eye for goal.
Crooks says it is these qualities make him a fine example at United, and he named Mason Greenwood, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial as four players at the club who could do with replicating his efforts.
Writing in his BBC Sport column, Crooks said: “I don’t know to what extent Bruno Fernandes was aware of media attention surrounding his manager’s long-term prospects at Old Trafford, but the way he played against Everton not only suggested he knew, but was determined to do something about it.
“The Portugal international fought for every ball, tried to win every tackle – and got booked as a consequence – scored two goals and laid another on a plate for Edinson Cavani. He was everywhere and made absolutely sure any speculation about Solskjaer’s immediate future was quashed.
“United have an extraordinary squad and Solskjaer has carefully put it together. What is needed now is for Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood to display more of what Fernandes is showing and repay some of the faith their manager has placed in them.”
United fans will likely agree with the names mentioned by Crooks, with the pundit far from the only one to point out that players like Pogba and Martial have been particularly below-par given their natural ability.
Most fans will have high hopes for youngster Greenwood, however, who looks a huge prospect even if his rapid recent rise has stalled slightly.