Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo comparison

Portugal team-mates Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo (Getty Images)
Portugal team-mates Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo (Getty Images)

Bruno Fernandes can be to Manchester United what Cristiano Ronaldo once was, according to his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Fernandes is in a rich vein of form with five goals in his last three United appearances and put Solskjaer’s side on the brink of the Champions League knock-out stages this week with a brace against Istanbul Basaksehir.

The 26-year-old has scored 21 goals in his 35 appearances since joining from Sporting Clube de Portugal – a move that Ronaldo made as a teenager in 2003, before going on to score 118 goals in 292 appaerances.

When asked whether Fernandes could have the same galvanising impact on the club as his compatriot, Solskjaer agreed.

“He does definitely have that presence and an influence and impact on his team-mates, you can just look at results we’ve had since he came in,” he said of Fernandes.

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“He’s got loads of energy, leadership, he’s a team player which is the key here now for us going forward.

“Some players will have to sit games out and rest. I wasn’t looking forward to telling Bruno when he was rested against Leipzig but he was absolutely no problem, the same as Marcus.

“They know this season is challenging and that’s how we build this team, the culture of the team – it’s about the team, not individuals and Bruno has proved that over and over, that’s it’s the team before ‘I’.”

United return to Premier League action on Sunday with a trip to Southampton but will be without Paul Pogba, who has not recovered from an ankle problem, and fellow midfielder Scott McTominay.

“Scott and Paul didn’t train this morning, they weren’t on the grass, so they look very unlikely for the weekend,” Solskjaer said.

The United manager hopes that Marcus Rashford, Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka should be fit to play after training on Friday though described the trio as “not 100 per cent”.

“Luke [Shaw] has just started his rehab out on the grass, not with the team yet,” Solskjaer added.

“Jesse [Lingard]’s back from his isolation period, he’s back with the group and has had a couple of days training. Apart from that Phil Jones is probably out until after Christmas sometime.”

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