Manchester United

Bruno Fernandes 'honoured' by comparisons to Eric Cantona

Tom Gott
Bruno Fernandes enjoys being compared to Eric Cantona
Bruno Fernandes enjoys being compared to Eric Cantona / Phil Noble - Pool/Getty Images

Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has confessed he enjoys the pressure of being compared to the legendary Eric Cantona.

Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to sign Cantona in 1992 is widely accepted to be the catalyst for United's era of dominance, which yielded six Premier League titles before the turn of the century and another two between 2000 and 2003.

Eric Cantona
Cantona enjoyed plenty of success with United / Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

While Fernandes has not brought that level of success just yet, his arrival in January 2020 helped United roar towards the top of the table last year and his ridiculous goalscoring record - 40 goals and 25 assists in 79 games - has turned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side into genuine threats for silverware again.

Fernandes' excellent form has seen him compared with Cantona, and while he's got a lot of work to do before he comes anywhere close to matching the Frenchman's legacy, Fernandes told BBC Sport that he likes the idea of trying to replicate Cantona's success.

"It is an honour to be compared with him because the impact he had was really high and he won many major trophies with the club," Fernandes said.

Bruno Fernandes
Fernandes knows the comparisons are premature / Michael Steele/Getty Images

"But when you are compared with this kind of big player it means you need to be better every day. It makes me work harder to keep in the mind of the people, being compared with him. That, for me, is a good pressure."

United have often been hailed as a one-man club since Fernandes' arrival, but the midfielder was keen to knock such suggestions back and steer the praise on to his team-mates.

"It is such a big club. It would be heavy to lift it myself," he said. "Of course, I did really well. I know that, from my numbers, my performance, everything.

"But this comes from the help and trust of my team-mates. They have helped me to be better every day. And if they help me, I know I can help them.

"This team is improving. Everyone can see it. We are growing up and understand together we can reach better things.

"The most important thing for me about next season is being all together; club, players and fans pushing to the same side. If we all do that we could do many good things next season, which, I am pretty sure, will be much better than this one."

For more from ​Tom Gott, follow him on ​Twitter!