Ole Gunnar Solskjær has denied Manchester United are over-reliant on Bruno Fernandes, with the manager stating the midfielder is as dependent on teammates as they are on him.
Since the 26-year-old signed a year ago on Friday his impact has included 28 goals in all competitions and helping United to win the most points of any Premier League side. Yet Solskjær brushed aside the idea that if the Portuguese is below his best United struggle.
“Bruno has come in and helped the team, no doubt about that,” he said. “Bruno came in at a time when we needed that type of player and he came into a team that makes his attributes and skills come to fruition. He’s come to a team that suits him and he suits the team. That goes hand in hand. If the players don’t run, Bruno can’t play his passes. If Bruno doesn’t play his passes then they can’t run.
“He’s part of a chain here and I’m sure that Bruno will say that he also appreciates his teammates and that they help him through games.”
Solskjær advised Anthony Martial not to be frustrated at scoring only five times this season, the Frenchman having registered a career-best 23 last season, which made him United’s top scorer. The manager was asked what he would say to the 25-year-old regarding his form.
“Don’t be frustrated. He keeps practising in training so we know how good he is and we know he will come good. Keep working. He’s improved his fitness, he’s probably improved by 10-15% from when I came – his running distance, his sprint distance.
“His talent will always take him through. I’ve got no doubt about that whatsoever. Yes, he’s missed a couple of chances but that happens to everyone. It’s just being ready when the chance, for example, tomorrow [at Arsenal] comes. Just be mentally ready.”
Eric Bailly is available after a knock.