Bruno Fernandes has been Manchester United’s most important and influential player since signing from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020.
His ingenuity in the final-third has added a fresh dimension to United’s attack and been a key reason why they look set to finish second in the Premier League this season.
It speaks to the enormity of his impact that he has been touted as a potential PFA Player of the Year award winner.
But, despite his brilliance across multiple competitions since landing at Old Trafford, he has been omitted from an XI of United’s all-time best foreign players – selected by United End editor Tom McDermott, per The Sun.
That in itself is not totally surprising.
The Portugal international has only been contracted to United for just over 16 months and the club have been one of the most successful in the history of English football, or arguably the most successful.
Naturally, plenty of first-class foreigners have enabled United to clinch a long list of major honours and Fernandes will need to continue this form over a number of years before he reaches a bracket alongside the all-time greats.
What is surprising, however, is that Paul Pogba has earned selection.
Pogba has been placed in a holding midfield role, one which Fernandes certainly isn’t equipped for, but in truth the Frenchman isn’t exactly a natural fit either.
The Football Terrace: Is Scott McTominay REALLY good enough for Man United?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has struggled to sandwich the two players into his starting XI effectively this season, but Fernandes has outperformed his fellow midfielder.
While there is no doubting Pogba’s talent, his second spell at the club has been underwhelming for the most part and his selection is rather surprising.
Elsewhere, Eric Cantona sits in behind a Dutch centre-forward pairing of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Robin van Persie, with that attack flanked by Cristiano Ronaldo and the brilliant Russian winger Andrei Kanchelskis.
Peter Schmeichel earns selection between the sticks and represents the last line of a defence that includes two flying full-backs in Antonio Valencia and Patrice Evra and a colossal defensive pairing of two of the hardest men in football, Jaap Stam and Nemanja Vidic.
Here’s the line up in full:
Goalkeeper: Peter Schmeichel
Right-back: Antonio Valencia
Centre-back: Nemanja Vidic
Centre-back: Jaap Stam
Left-back: Patrice Evra
Centre-defensive-midfield: Paul Pogba
Right-midfield: Andrei Kanchelskis
Left-midfield: Cristiano Ronaldo
Centre-attacking-midfield: Eric Cantona
Centre-forward: Ruud van Nistelrooy
Centre-forward: Robin van Persie