Fernandes’ fitness reaping rewards at United

Manchester United

Bruno Fernandes is topping the fitness charts at Manchester United following his recent £50m arrival from Sporting Lisbon.

The Old Trafford giants are eyeing Champions League qualification and are now just three points behind fourth placed Chelsea in the Premier League table.

United’s form resurgence has coincided with Fernandes’ capture last month, giving boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer some overdue creative spark at the heart of his engine room.

The Norwegian has already likened the 25-year-old schemer to United’s legendary former midfielder Paul Scholes, in terms of his eye for a pass and late runs into the penalty area.

Club sources have revealed Fernandes came out near the top of fitness assessments which were conducted on the club’s recent mid-season break in Marbella.

United expected the player to be playing catch-up over the next few weeks on his overall fitness, missing some games before Christmas due to a couple of injury niggles.

Fernandes, however, was in the top three among his new team-mates when it came to overall running stats, surprising United’s conditioning staff in the process.

Solskjaer has also been impressed by Fernandes’ work ethic at United’s Carrington training base, regularly staying behind after the main session has finished to work on his free-kick taking prowess.

United are trying not to get too carried away by his early showings, but there is some real excitement behind the scenes that Fernandes could prove a real bargain in the longer term.

The Manchester giants are next in action against Club Bruges on Thursday when they face the Belgian side in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.

Fernandes is ineligible and will next been seen when Solskjaer’s men play Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.