Soccer

Fernandes told what he must do to be considered as Man Utd’s new Cantona

Bruno Fernandes has been told he is still some way off matching up to Eric Cantona's hero status at Man Utd.

Like the arrival of Cantona from Leeds, the Portuguese midfielder made an immediate impact following his move to Old Trafford.

He currently tops United's scoring charts this season with 21 in all competitions, as well as 11 assists, and has swiftly become their most-important player.

But Cantona's former United teammate Steve Bruce believes Fernandes still has a lot to prove before he can be measured alongside King Eric.

"What you have to judge people on over a period of time is what they've won. Certainly, Eric for us, was the catalyst to go and win things," Newcastle boss Bruce said ahead of his side's trip to United on Sunday.

"The way Fernandes has played in the last 12 months, it feels a bit like Eric because it's his stage. Eric adored everything that went with playing for arguably the biggest and best club in the world.

"Fernandes has done fantastically well in doing that, it's his stage. For it to be even suggested that he's on the same hymn sheet as Eric is a wonderful compliment to him.

"Now they have to go and achieve and win things the way Eric did, and on big occasions win cup finals and semi-finals. If he does that then of course you can compare him to Eric."

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Cantona won four Premier League titles and two FA Cups in just four-and-a-half seasons at United.

In fact, the only season United didn't win the title with Cantona at the club was the year he was banned for the last four months of the campaign for his infamous kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace supporter.

Fernandes meanwhile has already racked up a series of near misses in his year at the club, losing three semi-finals.

This year United look better positioned to collect some silverware as they chase success on three fronts.

Next up for them is the visit of Bruce's Newcastle though, who sit just outside the relegation zone themselves.

United are facing a triple injury doubt for the clash, with Scott McTominay, Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani all set to undergo late fitness tests.

But manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident his side can keep themselves in the race for the title as long as they stay focused on their own game.

"We’re going to go for a win in every single game we play. Of course, we are," Solskjaer said.

How do Fernandes and Cantona compare? Have your say below.

"Whatever other teams do – City, Liverpool, Leicester, Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham – we can’t control. We have just got to control ourselves.

"We are in a position we are, we are second, and of course the ambition then is not to end any lower than that.

"We are going to have to get a good run together if we’re to put pressure on City and it should start on Sunday, of course."

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