Bruno Fernandes compared to Cristiano Ronaldo by Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Bruno Fernandes has had an electric start to life at Manchester United, registering 34 goal involvements in his first 35 matches for the club in all competitions; Watch Southampton vs Man Utd on Super Sunday from 1pm on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off 2pm

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Bruno Fernandes has a similar 'presence, influence and impact' to fellow Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Bruno Fernandes has brought a Cristiano Ronaldo-like presence to the squad since he joined.

Ronaldo spent six seasons at United after joining as an 18-year-old and fired the club to three consecutive Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy, earning the forward his first Ballon d'Or award.

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Midfielder Fernandes, who also joined United from Sporting Lisbon, has had an electric start to life at United, registering 34 goal involvements in his first 35 matches for the club.

Solskjaer is aware of how important Fernandes' injection of quality has been for his side but also praised the 26-year-old for his leadership and willingness to put the team first.

Fernandes enjoys the second of his two goals against Istanbul Basaksehir
Image: Fernandes has 34 goal involvements in 35 appearances for United

"Bruno has that presence [like Ronaldo] and an influence and an impact on his team-mates," said Solskjaer ahead of Sunday's trip to Southampton, live on Sky Sports.

"You just need to look at the results we've had since he's come in. He's got loads of energy, he's got leadership, he is a team player - which is the key now here for us going forward. Some players will have to sit games out and rest.

"I wasn't looking forward to telling Bruno when he was rested against RB Leipzig but it was absolutely no problem. Same with Marcus to be fair. They know this season will be challenging and this is how we build this team and the culture of the team - that it's about the team and not the individuals.

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"I think Bruno has proven that over and over, that it is the team before I."

Pogba and McTominay set to miss Saints trip

Image: Paul Pogba is out with an ankle injury

United will be without midfield duo Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay for Sunday's trip to Southampton in the Premier League, says Solskjaer.

Pogba missed last Saturday's 1-0 win over West Brom in the league and Tuesday's 4-1 Champions League win over Istanbul Basaksehir with an ankle injury. Solskjaer says it is not a recurrence of the issue the France midfielder was suffering with last season.

McTominay was not on the bench in midweek, but had come on as a substitute in the weekend win over the Baggies.

"Scott [McTominay] and Paul [Pogba] didn't train this morning, they weren't on the grass," he said. "They look very unlikely for the weekend."

Solskjaer also provided an update on the fitness of Marcus Rashford, Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka ahead of Sunday's return to Premier League action.

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Manchester will be in tier three under the new restrictions but there may be fans present for United's trip to West Ham next week and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has welcomed the news.

"Marcus [Rashford], Victor [Lindelöf], Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] should be okay but not 100%. Luke [Shaw] has started rehab on the grass, not with the squad.

Pitch To Post Preview Podcast: How Bruno became United's leader

On the latest Pitch to Post Preview podcast, Sky Sports News reporter James Cooper explains how Bruno Fernandes has become Man Utd's leader on the pitch.

He told the Pitch to Post Preview podcast: "I think the team spirit is pretty good and I think there's a mutual respect between the players in a way that hasn't been there before. I also think there's a brittleness there that needs to be dealt with when things aren't going right.

"There have been moments this season, especially at Old Trafford, when the team has needed to be galvanised by a leader on the pitch, there aren't many leaders in this team at the moment and I think they've missed the fans as that galvanising force to get them going.

"But in terms of leaders on the pitch, look no further than Bruno Fernandes. He does the unexpected, not only with the ball at his feet but also with the ball in his hands giving it to Rashford. I think he revels in doing the unexpected, he said afterwards it was a deal, he said he would do that as he did similarly last season with Anthony Martial when he needed goals."

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