Ole Gunnar Solskjaer press conference: Manchester United manager on the Bruno Fernandes ‘X-factor’ and the Bru

Bruno Fernandes adds an ‘X-factor’ to Manchester United’s play, according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Portuguese moved to Old Trafford in January and had arguably his best game in United colours during their 3-0 win over Watford last weekend, with Fernandes grabbing both his debut goal and an assist.

Bruno Fernandes gave Watford the runaround last weekend

Getty Images – Getty

Bruno Fernandes gave Watford the runaround last weekend

He may feature in the second leg of United’s Europa League round-of-32 clash vs Club Brugge on Thursday – the two sides played out a 1-1 draw in Belgium last week.

And Solskjaer believes Fernandes will be able to develop the X-factor he possesses during his time at Old Trafford.

The United boss said: “We feel we’ve added some X-factor quality with Bruno.

“We want to develop that X-factor. He’s come in and impressed everyone but we don’t want to put a limit on what he can do.”

Solskjaer sung the praises of Fernandes after his fine performance against Watford

Getty Images – Getty

Solskjaer sung the praises of Fernandes after his fine performance against Watford

Among Brugge’s ranks is winger Krepin Diatta, who has been likened to Liverpool star and fellow Senegalese Sadio Mane by Solskjaer.

He added: “He tries things, he has got the X-factor, fantastic pace and balance. He is similar to Sadio Mane.”

United have no fresh concerns heading into the match with Axel Tuenzebe and Scott McTominay among those training with the squad this morning.
Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, out with back and ankle issues respectively, did not train with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s 27-man squad.

Here’s what else Solskjaer had to say to the media ahead of Brugge’s visit to Old Trafford…


On the Bruno Fernandes ‘X-factor’

“We feel we’ve added some X-factor quality with Bruno.

“The addition of Bruno gives us a bit of a different flavour. He likes to play forward passes and take risks, which is what a Man United player should do.

“His imagination and his overview 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.

“We want to develop that X-factor. He’s come in and impressed everyone but we don’t want to put a limit on what he can do.”

Man United target Bruno Fernandes ‘is from another planet’, says former Sporting Lisbon boss Carlos Carvalhal

Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe’s availability

“They are getting close to either a reserve match or a behind closed doors match.

“We need them to play in that kind of game before they can make a first-team appearance.”

On qualifying for next season’s Champions League

“I think we need to take one game at a time. In cup competition, you never know. We take one game at a time and take as many as we can in the league.

“We are a big club and we have got good finances, but the longer you are out of it [the Champions League] the more you will suffer. It is an ambition to get back for football reasons and for financial reasons. We have just got to focus on the next game.”

Solskjaer’s side are in the final Champions League qualification place, provided Man City’s European ban is upheld

Getty Images – Getty

Solskjaer’s side are in the final Champions League qualification place, provided Man City’s European ban is upheld

Only Paris Saint-Germain have more clean sheets than Man United in Europe’s top five leagues

“It’s the work we do on the pitch and the quality of the players we’ve got – and perhaps at times a bit of luck, margins.

“We did sign Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] and Harry [Maguire] in the transfer market for big sums of money, but they were worth it as we want a foundation to build from.

“We’re not happy winning games 1-0, we want to be attacking, but the coaching has been fantastic, absolutely incredible and the application of the boys, adapting between a back three and back four. It’s that work that’s been done.”