PAUL SCHOLES hopes Bruno Fernandes can follow the likes of Eric Cantona, Wayne Rooney and Dwight York by becoming the missing link for Manchester United.
But Owen Hargreaves reckons the Portuguese midfielder reminds him of… Scholes!
The red-headed Old Trafford icon was full of praise after Bruno helped dismantle 10-man Club Brugge in the Europa League round of 32 5-0 win, with a goal and a second-assist.
Scholes, 45, said: “He looks a special talent, he looks like he can be a hero with the fans as well.
“You look at your Cantonas, your Wayne Rooneys, these people who are idolised by the fans, you hope that in future he can become a player just as good as them.
“Do you know what? Sometimes it can take one player to make a team click and he looks like that player.
“We knew there were good players there, but they’re not brilliant players.
“I think this player will make players around him look better. You think at all the great teams, you look at City in the last eight or nine years with David Silva, he’s made them play football.
“He has good players around him and he feeds them. De Bruyne’s taken that mantle over now with City.
“You think of all the great teams here with Cantona playing in that No10 role.
“Dwight Yorke to a certain degree as well, all these great teams have a great link between midfield and attack.
“It’s early days, it’s Brugge at home, but we need to because of the places we’ve been and he just looks that type of player to me who can knit a full attack of a team together.”
Bruno also hit the post with a rocket before he opened the scoring from the spot, a goal which came about from an utterly bizarre hand ball from Brugge defender Simon Deli.
Equally-impressed Hargreaves compared Bruno to the man sat next to him in the BT Sport studio.
The former England and United midfielder said: “The one word is ‘awareness’ and his awareness on the football pitch is special.
“And I think that he gets in great positions because he has a good feel for the game.
“I thought that was Scholesy’s greatest attribute.
“He kind of knew what was going to happen before it happened, almost like chess.
“I’m not saying Bruno has that because there will never be another Paul Scholes, but to think like that, to have ideas like that.
“It doesn’t matter, if you watch the way De Bruyne plays, he played a false nine the other day, great players find space like he [Scholes] did, like De Bruyne does and Bruno did that today.
“He’ll drift everywhere and he’ll find space because that’s what the good ones do.
“And because he’s that good, even if it’s tight, he’ll get on the half turn and he’ll be ready.
“So he’s a No8 he’s a No10, whatever he is, he’s effective and that’s the most important thing.”
Scholes recalled how his developmental days had his famous Class of ’92 youth team coach on his case about where he was on the field of play.
He added: “Owen’s right, awareness was always drummed into me, awareness, Eric Harrison… especially in that position.
“In that position, No10 or No8, whatever number you give, when you’re playing in that position you need to know where everybody is on the pitch.
“He’s got that, he’s got everything sorted before the ball gets to him, it’s difficult to defend against.”