Bruno Fernandes lifted this Manchester United team to another level straight after he joined last January.

His influence hasn’t been as great in recent weeks, but there’s no doubt he changed the mentality of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, and boosted confidence too.

During an interview with Rio Ferdinand on YouTube, Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford both hailed Bruno’s influence on the side.

Rashford spoke about Fernandes’ role in his goal at Brighton in September, when the midfielder hadn’t even had a chance to look up and find him, but laid on an assist regardless.

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“There’s a few players we have in our team who can do that,” said Rashford of Bruno. “Even if they’ve not seen or heard you, you roughly know where each other are.

“For me, Bruno’s brought that to the team. The more of that we have, the more runs I can make.

“If I come towards the ball, I’m going to run in behind. It’s something midfielders should know – those double movements.”

 

When asked if he would’ve liked to play with Fernandes, Rooney replied: “Yeah, he’s brought so much to this United team.

“He’s a player I felt they needed when they brought him in. What we’re seeing in recent games is him and Paul Pogba are forming a good understanding.

“That’s only going to help Marcus, Anthony Martial, [Edinson] Cavani… having two players behind you who can play passes.”

Manchester United vs CSKA Moscow - UEFA Champions League
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Pogba’s recent performances have eased some of the burden on Fernandes to try and do everything himself.

At the moment, opponents are trying to crowd out Bruno – Leeds had Kalvin Phillips man-marking him last month – which is allowing Pogba more space to roam.

The more threats United have, the more space will become available because defences cannot stop all of them.

And Rashford can keep making runs in behind the defence, because even if Bruno hasn’t had a chance to look up, there’s every chance he’ll be able to play him in anyway.

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