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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer denies Bruno Fernandes ahead of Arsenal clash


Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has brushed aside criticism that his side are too dependent on star player Bruno Fernandes, who has been directly responsible for 45 goals in 52 appearances in his first year with the club.

But Solskjaer insists United don’t play well when Fernandes play well. Instead, the boss argues that the Portuguese playmaker is simply the perfect fit for the team and vice versa. The fact that he arrived in an underperforming team this time around last year further highlighted his impact.

Likewise, Fernandes needs other players to perform well for his attributes to be effective. It’s not as easy as being a one-man show by any means.

“Bruno came and helped the team, no doubt about that,” said Solskjaer as quoted by The Guardian as United prepared to face Arsenal on Saturday night.

“Bruno came at a time when we needed this type of player and he entered a team which makes his qualities and skills bear fruit. He came in a team that suits him and he suits the team. It goes hand in hand. If the players are not running, Bruno cannot play his passes. If Bruno doesn’t play his passes, they can’t run.

Alex Telles, Marcus Rashford
Solskjaer says others must perform to make Fernandes effective | Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

“He’s part of a chain here and I’m sure Bruno will say he appreciates his teammates too and they help him through the games.

In this most bizarre season, United are in a race for the Premier League title for the first time since their last trophy lifting in 2012/13. But Saturday’s fixture list means Manchester City could be four points clear by the time Solskjaer’s side face Arsenal.

This makes United’s trip to Emirates Stadium a must to keep the pressure on. Randomly, Sheffield United repeat their turn and beat City, it even throws a chance to come back on top.

Bukayo Saka, Bruno Fernandes - Football player - Born in 1994
Man Utd have a must-see match against Arsenal | Visionhaus / Getty Images

But it won’t be easy. Arsenal have recovered from a terrible start to the season and are now one of the league’s form teams, having taken 16 points out of the last 18 available since Christmas.

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