Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has ‘done nothing’ in recent months if you take away his ability from the penalty spot – according to Lee Sharpe.
The Portugal international has been Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's star player this season, but Sharpe believes that he hasn’t done enough in big games, or when you discount penalties.
Former England midfielder Sharpe, who also played for Leeds and Bradford, won three Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, and the FA Cup twice.
After admitting that his opinion might not be a common one, he has questioned the performances of Fernandes while talking about United’s form in recent months.
Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes at its launch of the 5-A-Side Bet on the Manchester Derby, Sharpe said: ”Over the last few months I'm not really sure you could say Bruno Fernandes has performed in the big games.
“I know everyone is raving about him and I'll probably get slagged off for it but I'm still not quite sure about Bruno. He did come in and set the world alight but since then – apart from penalties – he's not really done anything.
“For me, he seems to give the ball away far too cheaply and he's not getting as involved as I'd like.
“Whether it's down to where the manager is playing him or Ole's instructions on what he wants him to do, he just doesn't seem to be getting involved anywhere near as much as he used to.
"It's always going to be harder playing against the top teams, but that's when you want your key players to stand up and produce something magical, but sometimes I feel like United sort of wing it in those games.
“They don't really have a plan. Yes, they move it around and they pass the ball well but if they come up against a well-organised defence, they struggle to create anything and I don't think they have a real plan in place at times."
Solskjaer hinted after the draw against Crystal Palace that he could bloke Fernandes from going on international duty at the end of the month, in order to protect his fitness.
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He said: "We've not sat down and made a proper call on that one but it doesn't make sense if you lose your player for 10 days of isolation, of course it doesn't.
"We're the ones paying the players and from what I understand FIFA have given the rules that they don't have to be released.
"So I would think that's going to be a hard call to make to let them go and play in red list countries, yeah.”
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