Former Arsenal and France star Emmanuel Petit has hailed the impact Bruno Fernandes has had since joining Man United, saying the new man has shown ‘leadership’ that has been lacking from compatriot Paul Pogba.
Fernandes has been celebrated as the purchase of the January window as his three goals and four assists in his opening nine games since signing from Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon have inspired a strong run of form for the Red Devils.
It is a dramatic turnaround in fortunes at Old Trafford as they struggled to keep in touch with the race for Champions League qualification but now find themselves just three points off fourth in the Premier League.
Much of United’s poor season before their resurgence was without talisman Pogba who has watched from the sidelines due to injury for much of the campaign amidst strong suggestions from his agent Mino Raiola and the player himself that he was desperate for a move away from the club.
Former Premier League midfield maestro Petit has hailed how Fernandes has improved the much-questioned mentality in the United dressing room in such a small space of time.
‘Fernandes has made a huge impact,’ Manu said.
‘In the space of two months, he is the best buy in the winter market. He has made such a big impact.’
‘It’s like he’s been at the club for six years.’
‘He’s changed the mentality inside the dressing room. It’s hard for a player to come in mid-season and do that.
‘Paul Pogba was meant to be doing this at Manchester United. It’s what he should have done in terms of leadership on the pitch.
Despite criticising the 2018 World Cup winner, Petit said he excited at the prospect of the two talented midfielders playing together for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
‘But I’m looking forward to seeing them together on the pitch, I want to see if that can work, and I’m pretty sure it can work.’