Manchester United legend Bryan Robson has outlined the qualities that have earned Bruno Fernandes successive Player-of-the-Month awards since he joined the club earlier this year.
The Portugal international has been a revelation since joining the Reds and picks up the March Player-of-the-Month trophy today, after landing the overall Premier League prize for February.
Although the current pause in action has halted his progress, the attacking midfielder looks very much at home at Old Trafford already and beat off competition from Odion Ighalo, Fred and Harry Maguire to scoop the accolade.
Former England skipper Robson believes Bruno’s integration into the group has been swift because he has seen it first hand.
“I think it’s been a terrific impact and the first signs are he looks like a top player,”Robson told us. “He is always on the move, always wanting the ball, has got a great touch and makes double movements, a bit like Scholesy used to do.
“It’s where you go one way and come back and you’ve got a couple of yards of space, so he can get on the ball in that way. His energy levels and pace looks really good and he has showed he can hit a pass and score goals. So the initial period where he’s been at the club looks great. Great signs. He just needs to work on his heading ability! [laughs]
“I’ve already seen him around the training camp and he gets on really well with the boys, seeing as he’s only been here a couple of months,” added Robbo. “What I do like to see when he’s on the pitch is, even though he’s a forward-minded player, he’s already swivelling and looking on his shoulder, demanding of his team-mates.
“He’s telling people to push in and have them where he wants them, which is great. We needed a bit of that because, no matter what you say about some of our other players, who are really good, I still feel they can all get better in demanding from their team-mates and getting them into the positions you want them in. I see Bruno does that, so that’s great. It means the team shape is going to be good most of the time, when you’ve got players demanding from their team-mates.”
Obviously, Robson knows a thing or two about leadership qualities having been an inspiration and driving force at United in his playing days. He feels Bruno is displaying some of these qualities, which indicate what sort of character he has.
“I think it helps that he was captain at Sporting,” Robson explained. “ I just think it’s something that is naturally in you. Bruno looks as though he has got that natural leadership quality, where he demands from his team-mates and that’s good. I can see it in Harry Maguire, since he was made captain, it’s coming out in him and he’s organising the people around him.
“I think Victor Lindelof is another one who is improving on that side and they’re organising the people around them. For Bruno, being an attack-minded player, to be doing that is a great attribute for the team as well as the ability he has got.”