Former Manchester United midfielder Johnny Giles has said that Bruno Fernandes is not close to being as great as Paul Scholes and never will be. Another Man Utd player, however, fits this bill for Giles.
Fernandes has had a big impact since transferring to Old Trafford in January, scoring three goals and assisting four more in nine unbeaten games in all competitions.
Giles suggests that the Portuguese playmaker is going to prove to be an important player in the club, but says that the United fans are “kidding themselves” if they think he’s going to do the same job as the club hero Scholes.
“It does bother me when I hear people talking about Fernandes being the next Scholes and the perfect midfield player. That is not the case. He is nowhere near Scholes and never will be. People at the club will be kidding themselves if they believe he is going to do what Scholes did,” Giles is quoted as saying by The Mirror.
He names Jack Grealish as the adequate successor of Scholes:
“Grealish would be more likely to do a Scholes for Manchester United than Fernandes. He plays on one side or the other for Villa, but I would like to see him playing in the middle. His control is good, he goes past people, and uses the ball well. He and Fernandes would be chalk and cheese in the way they play.
“So, Grealish could be coming from a deep position, and picking it up from the back four, and Fernandes would need that to pick him out. Fernandes is not going to be picking anyone out from the back. He needs the ball to get to him, then he can do what he is best at.”
He goes on to praise Scholes as a midfielder:
“He [Fernandes] doesn’t play anywhere near the way Scholes played, even in a positional sense. Scholes was one of the best midfielders I have seen who could connect the team from back to front. He was the best I have seen at that for a long time, especially when he was playing with Roy Keane, David Beckham, and Ryan Giggs.
“He was the one who knitted it all together, and was one of the great midfield players, so I don’t think Fernandes is a Scholes. Fernandes is a goalscoring midfield player. He should be an asset to the club, but not in the way he is being described at the moment. ”
Scholes, who played 718 times for United, helping the club win 25 trophies (including 11 Premier League titles and two Champions League crowns), has more than just criticisms for Fernandes. Indeed, he compares him to another legend of football:
“He will be more like a [Frank] Lampard as, every time I see him, he always has a good shot on him and good ability. He will be a goalscoring midfield player and there is nothing wrong with that. Scoring goals and making goals makes him an asset – but he won’t initiate.