Chelsea manager Frank Lampard delivers verdict on Bruno Fernandesby Metro Sport Reporter
Frank Lampard believes the signing of Bruno Fernandes has significantly strengthened Manchester United’s hopes of gatecrashing the top four.
The Portugal international, following months of protracted negotiations, finally signed for United last month after Ed Woodward struck a £46.6 million deal with Sporting Lisbon.
Fernandes made an eye-catching debut during a goalless draw with Wolves a fortnight ago and has spent the winter break getting to know his teammates during a warm weather training camp in Marbella.
The 25-year-old is likely to start at the heart of United’s midfield when Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s side take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday and Lampard acknowledged his side must be wary of the threat Fernandes will bring.
He told Sky Sports: ‘I think they are strong anyway and will be stronger because they’ve done good business.
‘I think Fernandes is a top player, he scores goals, I know all about his record and that.
‘We have to take that into account and he will be wanting to make his mark on the Premier League in general. I think they are a top team.
‘Again they are gunning for the top four the size of club they are. We won’t be under any illusions, it’s going to be a tough game but we have to trust in ourselves, be confident at home, play well and try and win the game.’
After failing to make a single signing during the January window Chelsea, meanwhile, took a significant step towards a summer rebuild by confirming a deal for Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech on Thursday.
The Morocco international winger will officially become a Chelsea player in the summer and Lampard is hopeful the club will make further additions, although ensuring a top four finish remains his primary focus.
He added: ‘I think first we have to worry about where we are at trying to come in top four is priority, we are always on the lookout working together to see how we improve and those improvements could be needed in he summer but have to make sure they are the right ones.’