The Red Devils boss is pleased with a Portuguese midfielder and Odion Ighalo, but admits his top-four hopefuls still have much work to do
Bruno Fernandes has brought a “spark” to Manchester United, admits Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the Portuguese midfielder even looking good when he gives the ball away.
The Red Devils invested heavily in another creative influence when completing a €55 million (£47m/$60m) deal with Sporting in January.
Solskjaer had battled hard to get Fernandes on board, with a protracted saga dragging on longer than those at Old Trafford would have liked.
They eventually got their man and have seen the talented 25-year-old make an immediate impact in English and Europa League football.
Quizzed by Sky Sports on what Fernandes brings to the fold, Solskjaer said: “That little bit of spark he has given us.
“He’s come in and the supporters, the feeling around the place, is better.
“He risks passes, he plays forward passes, he takes chances, he loses the ball a few times but he’s one of the players that looks good when he loses the ball because it’s a good attempt. He then wins it back. Delighted with him.”
Fernandes has helped to get United’s bid for a top-four finish back on track, while fellow new boy Odion Ighalo is also expected to aid that cause as the kind of out-and-out frontman that the Red Devils have been missing.
Solskjaer added: “We have had a few disappointing games, definitely, and inconsistent periods.
“We have had some great highs, great games – [Manchester] City, Chelsea, Liverpool game at home. Loads of games we have played really exciting football and then let ourselves down at times in games that we have dominated.
“Odion as well has given us something extra because we’ve missed that type of striker in and around the box and having tap-ins.
“We have had to score the perfect goal and we don’t need that now because we’ve got players who can strike the ball well from outside, we’ve got a striker in the box, so I feel we’re getting closer to that consistency.
“We have had a great improvement in our defending, the consistency, clean sheets, a foundation to play from but we can’t get carried away.
Solskjaer has been charged with the task of bringing the good times back for United and intends to make the most of his time back at Old Trafford, regardless of how long he gets in a lengthy rebuilding process.
He added: “If it lasts one more week or a year, or 10 years, I’m going to enjoy it.
“Things had to change, I believed that. We needed more belief and smiles around the place, and we’re getting there – I’m smiling anyway!”
The Red Devils will be back in Premier League action on Sunday when they take in a trip to Everton.