Louis Saha believes Bruno Fernandes can be better than Paul Scholes – and will lead Manchester United back to the top of English football.
The Portuguese international has made a stunning impact since joining United from Sporting Lisbon in January in a £67.4m deal.
United have not lost a game in the Premier League since Fernandes made his debut, with the midfielder inspiring them to a third placed finish and Champions League qualification.
Fernandes has also plundered 12 goals to help United reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Europa League as well as bring the best out of those around him.
Former United star Saha reckons Fernandes, along with Paul Pogba, can form the partnership that will rebuild the team and make them the force they once were under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Speaking exclusively to the Football Index Podcast, Saha said: "I don't remember a player ever coming to Manchester United or the Premier League and having the immediate impact that Bruno Fernandes has had.
"He's demanded a much higher standard of this Manchester United squad and the players around him have risen to the occasion.
"Fernandes has of course scored a lot of penalties, but he has been a big attacking threat from open play and also drives the high press to regain possession back.
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"It took even Paul Scholes a couple of years to gain the respect and ability to impact games like this, but Bruno Fernandes has achieved it immediately.
"There's no doubt in my mind that he will be able to maintain this form next season and he will only become more effective if he is surrounded by more quality players."
Saha believes United have become a team to fear once again under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and he said: "The main goal for Manchester United this season was to get the belief and fearlessness back in this squad – and I think they achieved that.
"I think it's the first time in a long while that you can see the Manchester United identity shining through. The big players within the club, the likes of Paul Pogba, may stay and sign new contracts.
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"Manchester United is now a very attractive proposition for new players who will want to join the club this summer for the right reasons. I don't think that was the case before this season – and Solskjaer deserves credit for that."
United are expected to make some big signings this summer as they look to close the gap on rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.
Saha reckons United have made a mistake in not trying to lure Edinson Cavani to Old Trafford from Paris Saint Germain and wants his old club to join neighbours City in the race to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
He added: "I think Manchester United are missing a trick by not signing Edinson Cavani this summer.
"I've followed him for many years and I'm gutted there doesn’t seem to be an interest there. For me, Cavani would be the best fit this summer.
"Cavani has a great eye for goal and his leadership would be a great asset. He has qualities that are very difficult to find on the transfer market.
"And if Manchester United are to look at a new central defender, Koulibaly is the obvious choice. I'm a big fan of his as he's so strong and composed. He's also an aerial threat in the opposition box. The more players of his stature at Old Trafford, the better."
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