Fernandes' fast start suggests Man Utd are unlikely to miss Pogba

The Portugal international has helped create an air of optimism around Old Trafford and helped fill the hole left by his new team-mate's absence
Bruno Fernandes’ early performances for Manchester United have given the Red Devils hope as they head towards the end of the season. Not only that a campaign that has verged close to disaster on a number of occasions could end in some kind of success, but that life after Paul Pogba may not be so difficult after all.
There were reasons to doubt the potential of Fernandes’ impact at United when he arrived in January.
For one, the Old Trafford outfit had turned down the chance to sign him in the summer, as had plenty of other clubs with loftier ambitions. Why, if he was so good, was the only moving to the big time at 25, well past the age when the best Portuguese players tend to leave their homeland?
Of course, Fernandes had already attempted to crack a bigger, more reputable league once before.
Around seven years ago he moved from the side that developed him as a youth player, Boavista, to Italy. Novara, Udinese, and Sampdoria all saw enough talent to take a chance on him as he matured, only for him to return to Portugal, for Sporting, in 2017.
It only took a couple of years in the Portuguese limelight for his talent to bubble to the surface, with Tottenham having narrowly missed out on his signature in the summer of 2019.
In his five appearances in a United shirt thus far, Fernandes has been a shining light amid the darkness. Two goals and two assists have helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team to three wins and two draws since his arrival - a run that leaves them in, what is, for now, a Champions League spot in the Premier League and facing a very winnable Europa League last-16 tie against Austrian minnows LASK Linz.
"He looks like he has brought this team to life. He has made a team that did not look that watchable at times look exciting and very watchable right now," eulogized Paul Scholes in the aftermath of Fernandes' latest star turn against Club Brugges on Thursday. Scholes has been one of United's most vocal critics in the fallow period since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, so for him to single out the Portugal international for the praise he must be doing something right.
"What do I like about Bruno?" he continued. "Everything so far. Creativity. His awareness on the pitch. Before the ball comes to him he knows what's around him. He's sensational."

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