Bruno Fernandes reminds Phil Neville of a Manchester United flop Juan Sebastian Veron, and not Paul Scholes as has been touted by many.
Former Argentina midfielder Veron joined the Red Devils in a celebrated move in a record £28.1m transfer from Lazio in 2001 having been considered one of the world’s best midfielders at the time.
However, he failed to hit the expected heights at Old Trafford and was sold to Chelsea two years later.
In contrast, Fernandes has been United’s best player since joining in January and has largely been compared to an Old Trafford great, Paul Scholes, but Neville, who came through the ranks at United, says the Portuguese reminds him of Veron instead.
‘He’s a really technical player, always wants to take the ball,’ Neville told Premier League Productions.
‘People talk about Paul Scholes but he reminds me more of Veron with the way he’s got that invincibility of taking people on, a lot of shots from distance.
‘The positions which he takes up I think are really interesting. He always finds space.’
Neville, who played alongside Veron, also said that Fernandes brings a different option to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield.
‘Fred, McTominay and Matic are all ball-winners, all have got the energy but haven’t got the technical ability of Fernandes.
‘A lot of teams will have seen a lot of his games since he came to England and I just wonder whether they will take extra protection when playing against Manchester United now.’
Despite a three month break, United will need Fernandes to hit the ground running when their season resumes on Friday against Tottenham.
United are fifth in the Premier League standings and qualifying for the Champions League is imperative for Solskjaer and United.