Paul Merson believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes enormous credit for his management of Bruno Fernandes and claims the Portuguese playmaker has rewarded his coach by displaying ‘true bravery’ this season.
The 26-year-old joined Manchester United 12 months ago from Sporting Lisbon and has assumed a talismanic status following a string of matchwinning performances.
Fernandes was on target from the penalty spot last night, scoring the decisive goal as Solskjaer’s side defeated Aston Villa 2-1 at Old Trafford and moved level on points with Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table.
Merson views Feranandes as something of a throwback and insists Solskjaer deserves praise for allowing his main main the license to take risks without fear of negative consequences.
Fernandes was at fault for the concession of a goal at Leicester last week when he overindulged inside his own half, but his ability not to get fazed by such mistakes is a sign of true bravery, according to Merson.
‘I would say so (that he was the signing of 2020) and I think it’s great management from Solskjaer for what he’s done,’ he told Sky Sports. ‘He can play whatever way he wants to play. No other Manchester United player can go out and play the way he plays.
‘Certain times in games he’s anonymous and other players might get brought off but he can do what he wants. The Leicester goal he tries to nutmeg inside his own half, but he plays his own way and I think that’s brilliant by the manager.
‘It’s great management and I think he’s a special player. I love watching him play and what I love about him when it isn’t going well he’ll just keep on doing what he’s doing, he won’t hide and that’s what you call brave.
‘Brave’s not going into 60-40 tackles against, brave is when it’s not going well and you keep getting on the ball.’