Transfer rumours took a backseat for 90 minutes last night as Manchester United beat Wolves 1-0.
But watching the game at Old Trafford it was evident how badly United need to sign reported top target Bruno Fernandes.
BBC Sport reported earlier this week talks have taken place with Sporting over Fernandes, but it remains to be seen if United can get the deal over the line.
We really ought to, because this was a match which made clear how big an addition he would be at Old Trafford.
United have been reliant on Marcus Rashford this season and unsurprisingly his body is breaking down a little.
He was substituted after coming on, having played just 16 minutes. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the club website that Rashford came into the game with injury too, but felt the risk was necessary, even if it backfired.
For 60 minutes without Rashford, United were flat. There was no spark.
That is why United need to sign a player with an x-factor like Fernandes who can score and create goals and change games.
Fernandes can ease the pressure on Rashford too. Had United’s players got the job done in the first hour last night, Solskjaer would not have needed to risk the England international.
Juan Mata showed last night what a crucial position the attacking midfield role is.
This was his first goal of the season. Andreas Pereira has one, and Jesse Lingard has one in the Europa League. It just isn’t good enough.
Mata’s goal was a rarity, with Fernandes, this sort of impact from midfield could become a regularity.
It was a reminder of what United have missed this season, and could add to the squad.
Good on Mata for making the difference, but he can’t be expected to be prolific, he never has been. Fernandes will raise the bar.
United are into the fourth round of the FA Cup and needed 180 minutes to get over the line against Wolves over two legs.
There could be tougher matches to come, and if we are to go deep in the competition, we need a stronger squad.
The same applies in the Europa League too. If Rashford has a spell out injured, United really do not have the squad to compete for silverware.
Adding Fernandes will give this team a major lift heading into the second half of the season.
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