The Portuguese midfielder singled the ex-Paris Saint-Germain star out for praise after his match-winning display against Southampton
Bruno Fernandes says he’s not been surprised by Edinson Cavani’s immediate impact at Manchester United, with the striker considered to be the kind of player that “smells the goal”.
United brought in a man who had scored 341 goals in 556 matches across his club career on a free transfer in October, beating the likes of Atletico Madrid and Benfica to his signature.
Cavani scored 200 of those goals at Paris Saint-Germain, becoming their all-time top scorer in the process, but he left the French champions at the end of his contract in June.
The 33-year-old struggled with persistent injuries towards the end of his time at Parc des Princes, which is why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to bring him onto the Red Devils’ books raised a few eyebrows initially.
However, the Uruguayan has quickly laid any doubts over his fitness and sharpness in the box to rest, adding a new dimension to United’s attack despite only one of his eight appearances to date coming as a starter.
Cavani was introduced as a second-half substitute when United were 2-0 down at Southampton on Sunday, but he provided an assist for Fernandes to reduce the deficit before heading in two late goals to give the visitors an unlikely victory.
Fernandes says only a player with the ex- PSG star’s instincts in the final third could have scored such an impressive brace , and he is expecting his contribution to increase with each passing game.
“When you have strikers who move a lot, and they give you the chance to play balls for them, it is really good,” the Portuguese told MUTV . “I think every striker we have gives us options.
“I don’t want to go on personally about Edi or another player because it’s not fair, but of course Edi has qualities, everyone knows that.
“For me, he’s one of those strikers that can smell the goal as you saw twice. He smelt the goal, you need to have this feeling to score these two goals.
“As I said some weeks and some months ago, Edi will help us and he is helping already. For me, one of the best games he played was against Basaksehir in the Champions League and nobody talks about that because he didn’t score but he did an amazing game.
“He helps a lot and he will help more and more in the future.”
Another of United’s summer signings, Donny van de Beek, was also handed his first Premier League start against the Saints, and Fernandes felt he slotted into Solskjaer’s line-up nicely alongside Nemanja Matic and Fred.
“Every midfielder in our team has quality. Donny has a lot of quality,” he said. “We know we can play together and also with other players we have in the team. Everyone has quality to play and we know each other.
“We can play with three today then switch and play the next game with another three or another four. It doesn’t matter because all of them have quality and we can all be together on the pitch, and everyone can make a difference.
“Donny played a really good game but Fred and Nema [Matic] were really important to us. They worked and they worked and they were two players who calmed down the game and moved the ball.
“In the second half, that was crucial, they recovered a lot of balls and they ran a lot.”