Bruno Fernandes has had a big effect on everybody concerned with Manchester United since his January move.
Eric Bailly is among those who are impressed. Speaking to United’s official website the Ivorian talked up his new teammate.
He said: “Bruno is a real talent, a pure talent. He was voted the best player in the Portuguese league in previous seasons and we’ve seen already the quality he’s brought.”
Bailly has started two games alongside Fernandes over the past month, in wins against Chelsea away and at home to Club Brugge.
His performance away at Chelsea was eye catching, including one outrageous turn inside his own box when under pressure.
Bailly credits his defensive teammates for allowing him to feel so confident to pull it off.
He said: “I think maybe social media goes crazy for things like that, but it isn’t something you plan, it’s something that comes naturally without thinking about it. It made me smile that bit of skill, something I did without really thinking about it.
“That touch and bit of play was evidence of a good moment but I’d prefer to talk about how solid we were in that entire match. If anything, maybe that was the confidence that you get from being in a solid unit, then these things start to naturally come out in the game.”
Being managed carefully
The Chelsea game highlighted how much of a special talent Bailly is. And United are determined to manage him carefully.
This has meant not starting him twice a week, leading to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having to pick his games wisely.
With Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelöf building a strong partnership, and Luke Shaw proving a capable fill-in as part of a back three when required, Bailly has to be patient.
He is in with a chance of featuring either in the FA Cup tomorrow night, or even against City in the derby at the weekend.
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