PAUL SCHOLES believes Bruno Fernandes can emulate Manchester United legend Eric Cantona and insists the club “really needed” a player of his quality.
Fernandes arrived from Sporting Lisbon in the January transfer window after eventually securing a £55million move.
Unlike many foreign players arriving in England, the Portuguese midfielder hit the ground running immediately.
He racked up two goals and three assists in his opening five Premier League matches and picked up the Player of the Month award for February.
Unsurprisingly, former Red Devils icon Scholes is very impressed – both with his ability on the ball but also the leadership he is showing so early on, evident with a reported leaked Whatsapp message blasting his team-mates’ lack of attitude.
And that led to comparisons with the likes of the Englishman’s former team-mates Cantona, Dwight Yorke and Teddy Sheringham.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Scholes said: “The one thing with him is he doesn’t look like a central midfielder player to me.
“He looks like a man who’s normally playing in between the midfield and the front, he looks like a No10 – an out and out No10.
He’s got real quality, he can feed the ball into players. He’s got a great shot on him. He looks like a leader as well, which is something United have lacked. Somebody with this talent was sadly missing at Old Trafford.
Paul Scholes on Bruno Fernandes
“He’s great on the ball, he’s always on the half turn. He’s that link that United really, really needed. They lacked that bit of quality from midfield into the forward players.
“He’s got real quality, he can feed the ball into players. He’s got a great shot on him.
“He looks like a leader as well, which is something United have lacked.
“Whether he can play as a two in midfield, that’s yet to be seen. He looks like an out and out No10, possibly like a Cantona, a Dwight Yorke, a Teddy Sheringham, something of that ilk.
“But he can beat players as well. He’s quick, he’s got skill and he can strike a ball. Somebody with this talent was sadly missing at Old Trafford.”
Old Trafford hero Bryan Robson compared the new signing to Scholes by stating: “No question, he’s the modern day Paul Scholes. He’s brilliant at finding little pockets of space.
“Then he’s got the same vision to hit those great balls that Scholesy used to hit — and he’s also got a goal in his locker.”
He told MUTV: “Since the beginning I wanted to join Manchester United. For me, the most important thing was obviously the confidence of the coach.
“I need to know I am backed from the coach, because sometimes when you change club, not every time the coach wants you.
“Not like I need to come because the coach wants me to play, no, not like this, but I want to feel the confidence from the coach.
“If he has confidence in me, then the rest is working. I need to work to conquer my place, to play, to keep going with games and games and games.
Earlier this week, Fernandes revealed his coronavirus lockdown regime and vowed to be back scoring soon.
And the ex-Sporting Lisbon man also explained how he bought his teammates custom PS4 controllers in order to bond with them.