The Portuguese playmaker, who has been in superb form ever since signing from Sporting Lisbon last January, netted twice more in Tuesday night’s 4-1 Champions League victory over Istanbul Basaksehir.
His first effort was a superb long-range effort, striking the ball into the roof of the net on the half volley, while his second was rather scrappier – and he even passed up the chance of a hat-trick by letting Marcus Rashford take a penalty.
Solskjaer was delighted with Fernandes’ performance and believes it was typical of his level since moving to Old Trafford, though he did suggest he is benefitting from a freer, more attacking role than past United midfielders.
Informed of Fernandes’ record of 21 goals in 35 games, the best of any United midfielder, Solskjaer told MUTV: ‘Midfielder?! He plays up front!
‘No, he’s had a fantastic impact and you just see how it breeds confidence, it gives other players confidence around him.
‘We know that at any moment he can create a chance for anyone. So it’s about for the rest of them to make movements, runs in behind, clever movement, because he’ll find you.’
‘Penalties will help! Everyone will say that, everybody will say that for sure,’ the midfielder told MUTV.
‘I’m happy for that. My team-mates are helping me a lot, since the beginning I said it was really important the way everyone helped me in the first days and in the first games.
‘So I’m really happy and of course everything I’m doing on the pitch is with the help of my team-mates, the staff and everyone.
‘So it’s important for me, but the most important thing for me is helping the team and I think I can help a little bit more.’