Bruno Fernandes is not tired and has been "absolutely immense" since joining Manchester United, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Fernandes has been a revelation since joining United from Sporting Lisbon last January - scoring 27 times and providing 17 assists in 49 appearances - but his past few performances have drawn criticism.
The Portugal international won just two of his seven duels and lost the ball 19 times in Sunday's 0-0 draw against Liverpool, ending with a 58 per cent pass accuracy at Anfield.
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Fernandes has not scored or created a goal since a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on New Year's Day, but was recently named Premier League Player of the Month for the fourth time for his impressive performances in December.
"His form's been very good and he's just won the Player of the Month award. He's not tired - no chance," United boss Solskjaer said ahead of his side's Premier League trip to Fulham on Wednesday.
"He's one of the players who runs and covers the ground in every single game and is very good at recovering, very good at recharging his batteries.
"If he'd scored his free-kick [against Liverpool], if he'd just had a little bit of air on the ball when Luke (Shaw) put the cross in, he would have been voted as the best player in the Premier League again.
"Since he has come in, he's been absolutely immense and no, he's not tired. If I ask him, there's absolutely no chance he'd say he's tired."
Solskjaer's side were six points off the top four when Fernandes arrived last year, but currently sit at the top of the Premier League table as they look to mount a serious title challenge.
The 26-year-old has been directly involved in over half of United's goals in all competitions this season, prompting comparisons with Eric Cantona, whose arrival from Leeds in 1992 was swiftly followed by the club's first league crown in 26 years.
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Solskjaer added: "He is expected to create goals, score goals and sometimes the margins are against him. The free-kick almost went in and there were a couple of passes he played which were just marginally on or off.
"He's always on the verge of creating something, even when he loses the ball. That's the position I want him in and that's what he's been told to do. I want him to play those passes."
'One or two players may leave this month'
Solskjaer says he is open to a couple more players leaving United this month but underlined the importance of maintaining the strength of his squad.
The Norwegian allowed Timothy Fosu-Mensah to join Bayer Leverkusen last week and suggested others could follow, with speculation continuing over Jesse Lingard.
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Asked if Lingard would still be at Old Trafford come the end of January, he said: "Well, I don't want to go into individuals but we can probably allow maybe one or two more to go out.
"But then one of the strengths we have is that we have had a fit and deep squad, so we don't want to give our advantage away by easing off on our players. I can't give you a better answer than that."
Ole: Diallo makes a difference in training
Odion Ighalo is set to leave by the end of January as his loan deal from Shanghai Shenhua comes to a conclusion, but exciting 18-year-old talent Amad Diallo has bolstered United's options after joining from Atalanta.
"Very good," said Solskjaer on his first impressions of the player. "He can handle the ball, he's enjoyed training and he makes a difference in training, which is quite remarkable at his age.
"So yeah, some adjustment to settle into the hustle and bustle or the physical part of the Premier League, but I can't see it being too long until he's in the squad."
Asked if it is likely to be four or five weeks until Diallo is involved, Solskjaer added: "It might be quicker than that. Who knows?
"He's definitely settled down well, the players have taken to him and he's a good character. Very polite, smiley boy, who works really hard.
"He's doing his sessions, getting used to us. Of course, there's always a period of adjustment needed but he's settling in well."
United are looking to equal their club record of 17 successive unbeaten away games in the Premier League when they face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday - a match they approach without yet knowing if their players have tested negative for Covid-19.
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"Well, we've not got test results from Covid yet and that's almost 30 hours ago since we did the testing, so hopefully we get them soon," Solskjaer said.
"Everyone trained this morning more or less. Brandon (Williams) and Phil Jones didn't train and the rest were on the pitch."
The winter transfer window is open until Monday February 1 at 11pm.
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