Yannick Bolasie has likened Manchester United newcomer Bruno Fernandes to Kevin De Bruyne, Christian Eriksen and David Silva, believing his ex-Sporting Lisbon teammate will thrive in the Premier League.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was desperate to swell his attacking ranks during the January transfer window and acquired the services of Fernandes for £46.5m after weeks of gruelling negotiations.
Fernandes at Man Utd: Five things to know…
- Man Utd signed Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in the January window for £46.5m.
- He made his Man Utd debut in the goalless draw with Wolves earlier this month.
- During his time at Sporting, Fernandes was directly involved in a shot once every 14.3 minutes in the Primeira Liga.
- He scored 64 goals and registered 46 assists across all competitions in total.
- Bolasie – who is currently on loan at Sporting – has waxed lyrical about his former skipper.
The Portugal international made his much-anticipated debut against Wolves at the start of the month and certainly provided fans plenty to purr over with some neat touches and a slick passing range.
But there is much more to come from this talented playmaker according to Bolasie, who shared a dressing room with Man Utd’s latest recruit during the first half of the season, owing to his current loan spell away from Everton.
“Bruno has the lot to be honest,” Bolasie told the Mirror. “I think he will cope fine with the expectations.
Bruno Fernandes' Premier League debut for Man Utd against Wolves:
88 passes attempted
70 passes attempted in opp. half
3 shots on target
2 tackles won
2 fouls won
A promising first outing at Old Trafford. 🏟 pic.twitter.com/y69ceIB6Rn
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 1, 2020
“When he was at Sporting he controlled all the matches. Everything Sporting did went through him.
“He can play with both feet and is not afraid to shoot with his left but his right foot is his main foot.
“He can see a pass and has good long-range passing, free-kicks and penalties. He is at his best getting on the half turn and making passes in between the lines.
“He likes giving passes and likes scoring, that is his game. He knows what he can do and is good at and can link up with the forward players really well.
“He has his own style because he has been in Italy before but has similarities to De Bruyne, Silva and Eriksen.”
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Bolasie: Fernandes needs protection
Fernandes may be a soloist with the ball at his feet, able to unlock the tightest of defences with consistent eye-of-the-needle through balls, but he will need protection in order to thrive further up the pitch; and that means Solskjaer getting his tactics spot on.
Bolasie explained: “Bruno likes to go and get the ball and might end up on the left side or end up on the right.
“He needs to play with that protection behind to give him that freedom to venture around rather than adapting to the team.
“It will be interesting to see how United end up using him. But he always wanted to play in the Premier League for sure and it is going to be a good test for him.
“It much slower in Portugal and no-where near the Premier League tempo.
“In some of the games in Portugal he could probably coast through whereas in the Premier League no matter who you are playing, the opponents won’t let you walk over them.”