Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said January signing Bruno Fernandes has brought an “X-Factor” to his side.
Fernandes joined from Sporting CP in a deal which could be worth up to €80 million and showed his quality with a goal and assist as well as contribution to the other goal in United’s 3-0 victory over Watford on Sunday.
As well as Fernandes, another United player singled out for praise was forward Anthony Martial, who has scored in each of the past three matches.
“We feel we’ve added some X-Factor quality with Bruno,” Solskjaer told a news conference ahead of their Europa League round-of-32 clash at home to Club Brugge on Thursday.
“His [Fernandes] imagination and his overview picture, is a couple of seconds ahead of many players. It is one of his strengths he knows what he wants to do.
“He can change his mind in a split-second. That composure has been important. Anthony [Martial] coming back — he was out for a couple of months — means he’s getting used to the No.9 position.”
The Europa League provides one of two avenues back into the Champions League for United, with other being a top-four finish in the Premier League, but Solskjaer has said he does not want to prioritise one over the other.
“We need to take one game at a time,” he added. “Both are possibles but in a cup competition you never know — hopefully we take as many points as we can in the league, but the cup you can’t predict, can’t rely on winning it.
“The squad has coped really well with the amount of games, the attitude and character is improving, now we are getting some freshness back.”
United drew 1-1 in their first leg in Brugge as they look to win the competition for the second time.