Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told he would have lost Man Utd job without Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes has saved Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his job at Manchester United this year, the manager has been told.

The hugely talented playmaker has been by far and away the Red Devils’ standout player in 2020.

Since arriving in the January transfer window, the 26-year-old has been a reliable leader in the team.

Fernandes has scored 14 goals and provided nine assists in 23 appearances across all competitions this term.

And his value to the side is obvious in every game as team-mates turn to him for inspiration and a breakthrough going forward.

Solskjaer’s position as manager has often been in question over the past 12 months, and their Champions League group stage exit had him seeing only on the brink.

But progress in the Premier League, led by Fernandes on the pitch, has got United in title contention all of a sudden alongside Liverpool, while Solskjaer is certainly safe for the time being.

Such is Fernandes’ importance to United, Premier League pundit and former West Ham striker Dean Ashton feels the manager would have been long gone by now had they not brought in the Portuguese superstar at the start of the year.

“He is that good, honestly, if you look at what he has done since going in,” Ashton said on talkSPORT . “We always talk about the enormity of playing for a club like Manchester United.

“For some players, it takes time to adapt. I’ve heard players who have played for the likes of Manchester United saying what a huge step up it is.

“They didn’t realise just what came with playing for a club like Manchester United. Well he has walked in there as if they are lucky to have him!

“He’s gone in there with that sort of confidence as if to say, ‘you have been waiting for me and now I am going to show you why.’

“He’s played 29 times in the Premier League for Manchester United, he has had 32 goal involvements – 18 goals and 14 assists. Another part to a top player that I always look at is how they improve everybody else.

“Would Ole still be in the job without Bruno Fernandes at Manchester United? No, he wouldn’t.”

Fernandes set up Marcus Rashford for United’s late winner at home to Wolves on Tuesday as they bailed the team out after an off-colour performance on the whole.

Liverpool’s goalless draw at Newcastle on Wednesday means second-placed United are now just three points off the reigning champions, with a game in hand still.

United can go level on points with Jurgen Klopp’s side on New Year’s Day if they beat Aston Villa at Old Trafford (8pm).

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