Football News

What Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes have in common, according to Owen Hargreaves

By Harry Edwards

Published: 19:20, 14 March 2020

Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has compared January arrival Bruno Fernandes to Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne.

The Portuguese midfielder was a long-term target for Man Utd after a stellar 2018/19 campaign for Sporting CP and was tipped for a move last summer.

However, it wasn’t until the winter transfer window that Fernandes made the move to Old Trafford, signing on a five-and-a-half year deal for an initial fee of £47m.

Bruno Fernandes’ fast start at Man Utd: Five things to know…

  • Bruno Fernandes signed for Manchester United in January for £47m.
  • The Portuguese midfielder has since played nine times for Man Utd in all competitions.
  • He has scored three goals and recorded four assists.
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has previously hailed Fernandes for giving Man Utd a boost.
  • And Owen Hargreaves believes Fernandes is a similar player to Kevin De Bruyne.

In nine appearances for the Red Devils across all competitions, Fernandes has scored three goals and recorded four assists, helping to put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team on the right path.

With Fernandes in the team, Man Utd have reached the quarter-final of the FA Cup, are in good stead in the Europa League last-16 and sit just three points behind Chelsea – although the progress has been halted by coronavirus.

Fernandes’ qualities were on show most recently in Man Utd’s 5-0 win over Austrian side LASK in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie, their final game before the break.

And Hargreaves has picked out a similarity between Fernandes and De Bruyne.

“Every time he gets the ball he makes something happen,” he told BT Sport.

“Fernandes is on fire, he created five chances in the first half.

“Like De Bruyne, he plays at his own speed, he’s never rushed, finds pockets of space. He just has a feel of when to do things.”

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Solskjaer: Fernandes is “old school”

Hargreaves is not the only person to have been impressed with Fernandes’ start to life at Man Utd. As well as the fans, Man Utd manager Solskjaer has also praised the Portuguese midfielder recently for his commitment to helping the team.

In Man Utd’s Europa League last-32 tie against Club Brugge, Fernandes was taken off in the second half with the game secured. The Portuguese showed his frustration at the decision, but rather than take offence, Solskjaer hailed Fernandes.

“When I took him off [on 65 minutes] obviously he didn’t want to come off – that’s one thing,” he said.

“He just loves football. He’s got so much enthusiasm and a smile about him. He wants to be out there, wants to be better. I tried to send him in because it’s cold. ‘No, I want to watch,’ he said.

“He’s one of these old-school boys – football is everything for him. He’s been a big, big boost for us.”