Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained how Bruno Fernandes has been a transformative figure at Old Trafford after he came recommended to the club by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Fernandes’ arrival at United has coincided with their exceptional upturn in form which has seen them jump into top four contention following an unbeaten start since the break.
The Portuguese midfielder has scored eight goals and racked up seven assists in his 15 games so far for the Red Devils and Solskjaer outlined that the rigorous process of scouting Fernandes involved a chat with Cristiano Ronaldo.
“So obviously Cristiano was an easy goal for me that I managed to get through,” he told The High Performance podcast.
“Through Patrice Evra, I managed to get hold of Cristiano and his recommendation obviously stood him (Fernandes) in good stead.”
From the first day Fernandes arrived at the club from Sporting Lisbon, Solskjaer was impressed by the midfielder outlining that he was humble and respectful to all of United’s staff in addition to his ability on the pitch.
“It was off the field as well in training. And he demands off me. He demands off his team-mates. The first day he was in the club, he shook everyone’s hand.
“He doesn’t, he didn’t come in here thinking, “I’m the, I’m the big shot. I’m… you follow me”. No, he shook absolutely every staff members’ hand.
“And, of course, this is a family – Man United – we’ve always been a family, and Sir Alex, the way he’s created this atmosphere in this dressing, in this training ground, I think it’s unique.”
Fernandes had long been target of Manchester United and Solskjaer also explained the extensive scouting process that went into bringing him to the club.
“In Norway it was easier for me. I knew more of them, most of them when I signed. And I knew the, maybe the agent, and I managed to, to maybe meet the parents or the boys, on the, on the sly. You’re not allowed to, but sometimes you just meet. Then you, you speak.
“And I think for English internationals, for example, you speak to Marcus. What do you think of such and such team-mate of yours? Do you think he’ll fit?
“Harry Maguire, for example, you follow him, you’ve watched his Instagram account, you watch Twitter, you watch what kind of personalities they are.
“You go back to the scout that scouted him when it was 15, 16. Of course they’d spoken to them, and we just know more or less everything we need to know about the personality.
“You can’t do that all the time. Sometimes you have to have, take the hunch. You watch him and you say, well, rainy day at Stoke, he steps up, he’s a winner.
“Or he picked up the ball and gave it to the player, or he’s respectful when he, off the pitch he shakes ever.”