Jamie Redknapp explains main reason why Manchester United have caught Liverpool

Man Utd: Solskjaer admits Fernandes may need rest

Manchester United have caught up with rivals Liverpool in the Premier League because of one player – Bruno Fernandes. That is the opinion of former Liverpool captain Jamie Redknapp, who has heaped praise on the impact Fernandes has made at Old Trafford.

Fernandes joined United from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020 for an initial fee of £46.6million.

The Portugal international has scored 19 goals in 30 Premier League appearances for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

United have transformed from struggling to qualify for the Champions League into title contenders.

This time last year, Solskjaer’s side were 22 points behind league leaders and eventual champions Liverpool.

But tonight they can go three points clear of Jurgen Klopp’s side at the top of the table if they beat Burnley at Turf Moor.

And speaking ahead of the match on Sky Sports, Redknapp gave a simple response as to why United have closed the gap.

He said: “Bruno Fernandes. I think that’s the simple answer, I won’t baffle you with science.

“I think since he’s come to the club at times he’s single-handedly changed the mentality of it.

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“The goals he’s scored, the assists he’s made. I’ve just seen an attitude shift in the players because I think he demands such high standards.

“I think when he plays well, when he scores, United play well, it’s as simple as that.

“He’s changed players around him. Before he came you feared for Ole.

“You feared for him earlier in the season when they lost 1-0 to Arsenal, I did the game and I thought: ‘Do you know what? He’s running out of time here’, but he’s turned it around.

“Some bad results in the cup but the league form has been tremendous, so you have to really credit him for that.

“But I think one man has changed that, when you were talking about the 22 points, and that has been Bruno Fernandes.”

Fernandes has been compared to former United hero Eric Cantona during his first year at the club.

However, ex-United midfielder Paul Ince still believes the 26-year-old still has some way to go to reach those heights.

“The jury’s still out,” Ince said on Sky Sports.

“Cantona came into a team who were under pressure to win the title. Manchester United, this year, are not under the pressure to win the title. We didn’t expect them to be up there challenging the likes of Liverpool and [Man] City.

“But now the pressure’s on because they feel they can win the title. That’s the mark of a top top player – what he does when it actually matters.”

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