Man Utd icon Paul Ince reckons ‘the jury’s still out’ on Bruno Fernandes

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Paul Ince has claimed the jury is still out on Bruno Fernandes being a top player at Manchester United, despite the playmaker’s incredible impact on the club since signing one year ago.

Since arriving at Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon, Fernandes has contributed to 27 goals and 17 assists in 46 appearances. It is an incredible number which has helped the club to a third place finish last season as well as Premier League title contenders this term.

On Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Fernandes found himself being compared to Eric Cantona, someone club hero Ince played alongside.

And talking about Fernandes’s impact, Ince said: “He scores vital goals. I think he was very impressive first game. Hit the ground running. This year I don’t think he’s been as impressive but he’s still a major factor in the team, a major talisman in the side. 

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“Some games you might not see him for 20-25 minutes but he’s always got that technical ability to do something magical at the right time. Whether it’s a penalty, a wonderful ball into the box, a free-kick, he’s always got that in his locker.

“The players love him and he’s got a character about him. We talk about character so many times in football, how we’re losing that trait in footballers. There was a time when he was having a go at Lindelof. For someone to come from a foreign country, to come into a club like Manchester United and put demands on these players, this team, is a winner. And it’s infectious.”

But Ince stopped short of claiming he’s a top player just yet, saying he needs to come up with the big goals in the big title-deciding moments.

“The jury’s still out,” said Ince. “Cantona came into a team who were under pressure to win the title. Manchester United, this year, are not under the pressure to win the title. We didn’t expect them to be up there challenging the likes of Liverpool and [Man] City.

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“But now the pressure’s on because they feel they can win the title. That’s the mark of a top top player – what he does when it actually matters. Listen, I’m not saying that’s going to be the case, he’s certainly got the qualities to do it.”

United currently sit second in the Premier League, level on points with defending champions Liverpool and find themselves with a genuine shot at the title for the first time in years.

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