Bruno Fernandes will play a key role in Manchester United’s rebuild over the next few years, according to Diogo Dalot, who was encouraged by the playmaker’s first appearance for the club against Wolves.
Fernandes completed a €55 million (£46m/$61m) switch from Sporting to Old Trafford last week – putting pen to paper on a five-and-half year deal with the Red Devils.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer threw the midfielder straight in at the deep end for the visit of Wolves on Saturday, and he impressed with his composure on the ball and agressive streak when out of possession.
Fernandes took in a full 90 minutes on his debut, but he was unable to provide a creative spark in the final third as Wolves earned a deserved 0-0 draw at the Theatre of Dreams.
Dalot, who squandered United’s clearest opportunity late on after coming on as a substitute, thinks Fernandes will bring a lot of unique qualities to a squad fighting for a return to the Champions League come May.
“The players knew Bruno was a very good player of course,” Dalot said.
“It’s different seeing him abroad and then seeing him in training every day. He’s going to bring us a lot.
“I think he’s going to be a very good player for us and he’s going to help us build this team.”
When asked if Fernandes can handle the pressure of performing week in, week out at Old Trafford, Dalot added: “Yeah, he’s an experienced player. He played abroad a lot of years and you knew he could come here and do a great job.
“For me, it was not a surprise and I think that he is going to show us a lot more, but it was a fantastic debut for him.”
Dalot says he will do everything he can to help Fernandes settle into his new surroundings quickly, having experienced the same transition when he was brought to Manchester from Porto by Jose Mourinho back in 2018.
“I had Portuguese coaches and staff when I came,” the right-back said. “They helped me a lot and when he came I try to do the same because he had a Portuguese guy, a player that he knew.
“I’m just trying to help him settle in with the whole team.”
Dalot added on his own desire to feature in Solskjaer’s starting line up on a regular basis after recovering from a long-term injury: “It feels good to start feeling confident again and feeling comfortable with my fitness.
“I’m going to push hard and make sure that I deserve to play here. That’s why I signed to come here. I want to be the best right-back that I can be at Manchester United.
“The [injuries] are experiences that I need to live. It’s football and you need to be ready for this kind of challenge.
“I’m going to fight to play. I think I have the ability to play at right-back at this club and I need to show that.”