OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER knew he had signed the perfect player in Bruno Fernandes when he shook the hands of every member of staff after joining the club.
The Portuguese international has transformed the Red Devils since completing his £47million switch from Sporting Lisbon in January.
Solskjaer is hugely impressed with Fernandes’ character off the pitchCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Fernandes, who has yet to taste defeat for United, has bagged an impressive seven goals and six assists to catapult his side into Champions League contention.
And while he has been a star on the pitch, Solskjaer revealed how his true character shone through after he put pen-to-paper on his contract.
The Norwegian told the High Performance Podcast: “It was off the field as well as in training.
“He demands off me. He demands off his team-mates. The first day he was in the club, he shook everyone’s hand.
“He didn’t come in here thinking, ‘I’m the big shot.’ No, he shook absolutely every staff members’ hand.
“And, of course, this is a family – Man United – we’ve always been a family, and Sir Alex (Ferguson), the way he’s created this atmosphere in this dressing room, in this training ground, I think it’s unique.”
He didn’t come in here thinking, ‘I’m the big shot.’
Solskjaer on Fernandes
Talking about his performances, Solskjaer continued: “He’s got the talent of course, you can see the quality is there.
“And we’ve seen that for a long time, but then again, he steps up when it matters.
“He’s delivered crosses, he’s delivered assists, he’s scored goals, he takes penalties.
“He’s done everything in a short space of time that you’d expect.”
Solskjaer revealed the processes that the club goes through to ensure they have signed a player who can contribute both on and off the field.
And one of those ways is to monitor social media accounts to cast an eye over their lifestyles.
He added: “Harry Maguire, for example, you follow him, you’ve watched his Instagram account, you watch Twitter, you watch what kind of personalities they are.
“You go back to the scout that scouted him when it was 15, 16.
“Of course they’d spoken to them, and we just know more or less everything we need to know about the personality.
“You can’t do that all the time. Sometimes you have to take the hunch.
“You watch him and you say, well, rainy day at Stoke, he steps up, he’s a winner.
“Or he picked up the ball and gave it to the player, or he’s respectful when off the pitch he shakes everyone’s hand or… those little things.
“You’re looking at human qualities as well.”
Bruno Fernandes has been a star on and off the fieldCredit: AFP
Fernandes’ journey from Sporting to Manchester is similar to that of Cristiano Ronaldo’s so it will be no surprise that Solskjaer received the recommendation from the Juventus forward himself.
Solskjaer said: “So obviously Cristiano was an easy goal for me that I managed to get through.
“Through Patrice Evra, I managed to get hold of Cristiano and his recommendation obviously stood him (Fernandes) in good stead.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Man United ‘could have scored 3,4,5 more’ vs Aston Villa but heaps praise on goalscorer Mason Greenwood More