Fernandes’ Italian experience explains how he hit ground running in England

The man who scouted Bruno Fernandes has lifted the lid on how quickly the Portuguese midfielder managed to settle when he first moved to Italy to join his first senior side Novara.

The Manchester United star left his native country to sign for the Italian minnows in 2012, at the age of just 17.

While many players may have struggled to adjust to a new setting at such a young age, Novara scout Mauro Borghetti explained in an interview with Football Italia that Fernandes immediately did everything in his power to make the change of scene as easy as possible.

"He worked hard, trying to learn Italian right away, he joined the group and was immediately welcomed because he was able to establish good relationships with his team-mates," Borghetti said.

"He had excellent relations with all the figures inside Novarello. Sometimes his mother or his girlfriend came to visit him. He was a person of some depth. Notoriety and celebrity haven’t changed him."

There are certainly parallels to be drawn with this experience and that of when he made the move from Sporting Lisbon to United in January.

Fernandes arrived with a decent level of English, which appears to have significantly improved even further during his time in Manchester, and he took not no time at all to become a popular figure in the changing room too.

Like at Novara, he impressed on the pitch straight away, and perhaps this can be put down to his early exploits in Italy, where he learned about what it takes to move country.

Borghetti is certainly still a huge fan of both the player and the man, and added: "Today, I would tell him to always keep that humility that has always distinguished him.

"He hasn't changed and he shows it every time he makes himself available to me and to other people who knew him at the time of Novarello. That's what has made him a great champion."

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