Former Sporting manager Carlos Carvalhal has warned that Manchester United’s other stars need to offer more of a helping hand to Bruno Fernandes.
The Portugal international hauled the Red Devils to a top-four finish last season. He scored eight goals and assisted seven others in his first 14 Premier League appearances.
However, he has stepped up again this season, directly contributing to 26 top-flight goals already.
Pundits such as Lee Sharpe have questioned Fernandes’ lack of impact in big games. Nevertheless, his influence across the board has become undeniable.
But with his stellar record comes further concern that the 26-year-old’s team-mates look to him too often to provide a spark.
Fellow Portuguese Carvalhal, who tipped Fernandes for stardom after his move from Sporting (via talkSPORT), believes that that is the case.
“I think it’s not good in any team in the world if you depend too much on one player, so this is not good of course,” the now-Braga boss told talkSPORT.
“The best thing would be for the team to work together as a collective, because Manchester United have a lot of players who can be a threat, not just Fernandes.
“When a team depends too much on one player it can be very difficult to achieve something, because opponents find a way to block that player, sometimes the player can get injured or suspended, so you can’t depend on one player.”
Ex-Sheffield Wednesday boss Carvalhal added: “Football is a collective game, it’s about 11 players, and while it’s important to have individual players to win a game, you need all the players.
“If you don’t depend so much on one player, and every player makes a difference, you can beat any team.”
Carvalhal also faced questions from the radio station over the prediction he made about Fernandes last January.
Carvalhal proved right about ‘amazing’ Fernandes
“Well, it’s very easy to talk after something has happened, it’s much harder to talk before something happens,” he said.
“But when you talk about a player like Bruno Fernandes, it was not too difficult for me to say that.
“He’s an amazing player, he was a big influence at Sporting and in all their games he made a big impact all the time. He’s a different player and he can make a big impact at any club in the world.
“I remember saying that, that he will have a big impact and that he is similar to Frank Lampard because he scores goals but at the same time he fights for the team, he’s very good at set pieces, free-kicks, he is a complete player.
“So it was not a surprise to me, because we were talking about what a big player he was!”
Fernandes will hope to make a strong impact in Sunday’s Manchester derby with Pep Guardiola’s City.