Manchester United have been urged to drop Bruno Fernandes for Saturday’s Premier League showdown with Newcastle by former midfielder Luke Chadwick. The Portugal international has struggled during the early stages of the new season. And, with Donny van de Beek in reserve, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has options.
For the most part, Fernandes has been outstanding for United since joining from Sporting Lisbon in January.
The Portugal international propelled the club to a third-placed Premier League finish last term, while also helping them reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Europa League.
Fernandes has scored twice for United early on this season but, like many of his team-mates, has struggled for consistency.
United go up against Newcastle on Saturday knowing they need a victory to lift the doom and gloom mood that currently engulfs the club, having already lost to Crystal Palace and Tottenham.
And former Red Devils star Chadwick feels Solskjaer should drop the 25-year-old and replace him with Donny van de Beek for the visit of Steve Bruce’s side.
Van de Beek has impressed for United so far but is yet to start in the Premier League.
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And Chadwick told CaughtOffside: “Signing Van de Beek does allow a little bit of rotation.
“Bruno Fernandes isn’t firing as much and it was always going to be tough for him to stay at the same standard as last season.
“I can’t imagine they’ve signed a top young player just to sit on the bench all season.
“I think there will be changes made from the last game. Van de Beek is the one you would expect to start this game. You need to find a way of winning games and I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t start.”
United were recently slammed by Sjaak Swart, Van de Beek’s agent, who said of the midfielder’s limited game time: “A substitute, I don’t like it at all.
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“I couldn’t do it myself, substituting in with four minutes left to play. Then you’d better let me sit down.”
But Solskjaer has insisted the 23-year-old will be vital, saying: “We know how many games we’re going to play and he’s going to be vital.
“He’s proved in every game he’s been a part of that he’s got high quality, he’s such a clever mover, he plays the game simply but effectively, with high quality. He’s knocking on the door.
“He’s got very high footballing intelligence and tactically he’s gone through the Ajax system. Dutch football is tactical, he knows football, he’s got his head screwed on.
“He’s a different type of left-sided player compared to Dan James and Marcus Rashford but coming inside and finding good pockets, why not?
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“He can play loads of different positions, which sometimes is a strength for a player.
“I remember myself sometimes, right-wing, left-wing, centre forward, No 10… Donny is one the coach will always look to have in a squad.”
United beat Newcastle 4-1 when they met at Old Trafford last season.
Mason Greenwood scored a brilliant brace that day with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford also on target for Solskjaer’s side.
However, they lost 1-0 at St James’ Park courtesy of a Matty Longstaff strike in October last year.
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