“For us we’re just happy to finally get it over the line, we’ve followed him for years,” he explained. “He’s a great leader of his team. When you get to meet him he’s a fantastic human.”
Despite his stunning abilities on the ball, the United boss also paid tribute to his fight and how that could lift his new teammates.
In his first season–and-a-half in English football, all of those qualities and more have been on clear display.
Even if you decide to ignore the small matter of 39 goals and 25 assists in 76 appearances, the former Sporting star has provided so much to Solskjaer’s team.
An inspiration both on, and off the pitch, Fernandes has become a leader within a relatively young attacking unit.
That impact was emphasised when Solskjaer decided to name the 26-year-old Manchester United ’s captain for the Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain in October.
He then repeated that decision for the second leg of their Europa League tie with Real Sociedad, with the tie all-but over at 4-0.
“He’s done it before and he’s one of the vocal ones,” Solskjaer added. “We know going into half-time 4-0 up is going to challenge your mentality because you might step it down a notch or two. But Bruno isn’t going to allow that.”
And one incident in United’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa showed just how big of a leader Fernandes has become in the Old Trafford dressing room.
After a tussle in the area, Marcus Rashford squared up to Villa defender Ezri Konsa, only for Fernandes to rush to the aid of his teammate.
It struck an eerie resemblance to an incident in the Europa League on Thursday, when Edinson Cavani made a similar intervention when Mason Greenwood was confronted.
It’s perhaps a mark of the impressive team spirit that is building under Solskjaer and there is little doubt that Fernandes’ arrival has played a pivotal role.