Gary Neville has sent a warning to Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that his team are too reliant on Bruno Fernandes.
The Portugal international arrived at the club in the January transfer window and has lost only three games in the Premier League from 30 matches.
Not only have United significantly improved to emerge as genuine title challengers this campaign, but Fernandes also has 19 goals and 14 assists since moving to Old Trafford from Sporting Lisbon.
However, such is Fernandes’ importance to Solskjaer’s side, former defender Neville fears as though the player’s teammates are perhaps incapable of winning without him in the team.
“I don’t think anybody could think one person would have the impact on this Manchester United team [he has],” he told Sky Sports.
“We all thought we’d need four or five players yet, with him in the team, they feel unbeatable. Without him they’re nowhere near as good. “The one problem Ole has is he can’t rotate him. In any game that matters he has to play.”
But, Fernandes was somewhat below his usual high standards on Wednesday as bitter rivals Manchester City inflicted their fourth semi-final defeat in 12 months in a 2-0 defeat.
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And John Stones scored his first goal in more than three years to open the scoring in the game, before Fernandinho scored a stunning volley to inflict more damage on the Red Devils.
Neville added: “He might be able to do it in the FA Cup at the weekend but in any game that matters he has to play because the impact of loss on the team when he’s not in is too big. It shouldn’t be that way but it is.
“And that’s with Van de Beek, Pogba and all the others – they can’t handle losing Bruno Fernandes.”