Manchester United legend Gary Neville thinks the club are reliant on Bruno Fernandes. The Portugal international has been a huge hit at Old Trafford ever since his arrival in the 2019 January transfer window. He’s scored 11 Premier League goals this term and registered 11 assists along the way.
United were a club in crisis 12 months ago, losing their first three matches of 2020.
But they’ve been resurgent ever since signing Fernandes, who has established himself as one of the best footballers in world football throughout his time at Old Trafford.
His goals and assists have dared the Red Devils to dream of winning the Premier League title for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
And while Neville is delighted with the playmaker, he feels Solskjaer has a problem because he can’t afford to drop the 26-year-old.
“I don’t think anybody could think one person would have the impact on this Manchester United team [he has],” he told Sky Sports.
“We all thought we’d need four or five players yet, with him in the team, they feel unbeatable. Without him they’re nowhere near as good.
“The one problem Ole has is he can’t rotate him. In any game that matters he has to play.”
Neville was speaking ahead of United’s Carabao Cup semi-final showdown with Manchester City.
And he thinks they have to reach the final to show they’ve evolved, especially after losing semis to City, Chelsea and Sevilla last term.
“We were sat here three weeks ago after the Manchester derby questioning both of these sides and it is amazing [the transformation],” he said.
“Where United are in the league at the moment makes me smirk a little bit.
“I never expected it, I don’t think any United fan expected it!
“But Ole at the end of the season will have been in the job two and a half seasons and he has to give a return on trophies.
“Everybody thought at the start of the season the league was well beyond them but they had to get closer to City and Liverpool. At the moment that’s happening but they have to win a trophy to go with that and go a step further than they did last season.
“So tonight, there might be more pressure on Ole and United than the game a week on Sunday at Anfield.”
United legend Roy Keane was also performing punditry duties for Sky and expressed a belief they ‘have to’ get the win against City.
“Getting to semi-finals isn’t good enough for Manchester United. They have to get over the line,” said the former Red Devils midfielder.
“With Tottenham waiting with Mourinho, it’s got a nice ring to it. Fingers crossed they can do it.”
United haven’t won a trophy since 2017.
That was back when Jose Mourinho ruled the Old Trafford roost, with the club reaching just one final in the four years since.