MANCHESTER. — Arrogant, cheeky and an unmistakable touch of class — Manchester United fans have a new hero in Bruno Fernandes, and Peter Crouch thinks there is a lot more to come from the Portuguese midfielder.
Crouch joined Micah Richards on Match of the Day 2 on Sunday to analyse Fernandes’ sparkling solo display against Watford.
The 25-year-old, a £47m January signing from Sporting Lisbon, scored one goal and helped make two more as United saw off the Hornets to move up to fifth place in the Premier League.
Here Crouch explains what impressed him most about Fernandes, and why he has already made such an impact at Old Trafford.
He also explores the part forwards Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood have played in United’s upturn in form, but warns there is still improvement needed in other areas if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are going to finish in the Champions League places.
Crouch: “Watching Fernandes run the show against Watford showed exactly what United have been missing while Paul Pogba has been injured. He has got a bit of arrogance about him that I quite liked to be honest.
“They have not had anyone playing with that kind of confidence or flair, because it has not been that kind of season for them.
“So, to now have someone who gets the fans off their seats is massive for them — and you can understand why the supporters have taken to him so quickly because he is exactly what they and the team needed.
“Fernandes lifted the whole stadium on Sunday and, as well as the part he played in all three goals, what was impressive about him was his range of passing and the way he carried the ball.
“On top of that, he was full of tricks and he showed great awareness.
“He is clearly someone who can unlock a defence, which is something else United have been lacking while Pogba is out and since Juan Mata has gone off the boil.”
Crouch: “It takes a big character for someone to arrive at a club like United and instantly take on the responsibility of being their most creative player. But everything was going through Fernandes on Sunday and he was very comfortable with that. — BBC Sport.