Ryan Giggs was at pains to insist he wouldn’t directly compare Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United greats Eric Cantona and Robin van Persie – but believes the Portuguese is having a similar impact at the club.
Fernandes transformed United’s fortunes after his £47million January transfer from Sporting Lisbon, with his arrival coinciding with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side’s best form of the campaign.
The Portugal international has been widely praised for his impact during United’s 11-game unbeaten run and Giggs told the club’s official website that it’s more evidence of Solskjaer getting things right in the transfer market. The Welshman name-checked Cantona and Van Persie, who were both important signings for Sir Alex Ferguson, when talking about Fernandes.
“It was a shame we had to pause the season because we were flying,” Giggs said.
“Ole started his management with United flying, then had a tough spell, and then we were on a good run. But, like I said earlier, the players he’s got in have been really impressive.
“They’ve improved the team and the dressing room and obviously, in Fernandes, we’ve seen over the years the effect one player can sometimes have.
“You talk about the Cantonas, the Van Persies… and I’m not comparing him yet to them but he’s made other players play better and he’s given everyone a lift. I still think we need four or five players but we’re definitely going in the right direction.”
Giggs works closely with United’s Daniel James in the Wales international setup and believes the former Swansea winger is another example of Solskjaer’s transfer policy paying dividends.
“Dan’s not only a talented player,” Giggs said. “He’s a really good character and a solid lad. He wants to improve and that’s what I’ve seen over the last 18 months.
“Every time I went to watch him at Swansea, he was getting better and better and he’s had a great start to his United career. He’s a United player as well and someone who United fans will enjoy watching. He’ll beat men, he’ll make things happen and, of course, he has that devastating speed.
“But as I said, more than that for me, is he’s a really good character. I think that’s what Ole has tried to do over the last months, have some really good characters in the dressing room.”