A former Old Trafford striker believes the big-money January signing has given an exciting glimpse of what can be expected in the coming months
He may have only been a late substitute, but Bruno Fernandes’ performance in Manchester United’s 1-1 draw against Club Brugge was a “joy to watch”, according Robin van Persie.
Fernandes is a new face at Old Trafford, having completed a €55 million (£46m/$59m) switch from Sporting in the final days of last month’s transfer window.
The Portugal international was immediately thrown straight into the starting line-up for their goalless draw at home to Wolves just before the winter break and retained his place in the side for Monday’s impressive 2-0 win away at Chelsea.
He dropped down to the bench for Thursday’s Europa League last-32 first-leg clash in Belgium, though, as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rotated his squad, making six changes to the side that won at Stamford Bridge.
Fernandes did eventually make it onto the pitch, but only as an 81st-minute substitute for Diego Dalot.
However, the 25-year-old still managed to have an impact on the game as the Premier League side pushed for a late winner.
His positivity on the ball gave United an extra attacking dimension in the closing stages, with his dynamic display including a wonderful pass over the top to find Juan Mata, who was flagged narrowly offside.
Despite it being a brief cameo, former Red Devils striker Van Persie was certainly impressed with his performance.
“He is silky on the ball, he has the pass, he has a nice cross and shot. So a joy to watch.”
United started poorly in Belgium and fell behind when Bonaventure Dennis ran onto a long pass and lobbed Sergio Romero after just 15 minutes.
Solskjaer’s side were level before the break though when Anthony Martial broke clear and beat former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for his 14th goal of the season.
The Red Devils return to Premier League action against Watford at Old Trafford on Sunday before taking on Brugge again in the second leg at the same venue next Thursday.