Michael Owen believes Bruno Fernandes has single-handedly transformed Manchester United into Premier League title contenders next season.
The January signing from Sporting Lisbon shone once again on Tuesday night, scoring twice in a 3-0 win at Brighton as United moved back up to fifth in the table.
Mason Greenwood opened the scoring at the Amex Stadium before Fernandes took the spotlight with two fine finishes of his own.
The 25-year-old has now notched five goals in just eight Premier League appearances and has brought a higher level of control when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are in possession.
And ahead of their clash with Bournemouth on Saturday, Owen heaped praise on Old Trafford's new star.
Speaking to BetVictor, he said: " Manchester United are in great form and have looked a completely different side since the signing of Bruno Fernandes.
"He seems to have single-handedly taken the whole team up to a different level and they now look as though they could be in the shake-up at the top of the table next season."
Owen has also predicted a tough afternoon for Bournemouth on Saturday, with United themselves having plenty to play for as they aim for a top-four spot.
An embarrassing evening for the relegation-threatened Cherries against Newcastle on Wednesday night saw them fall to 19th place, although they remain only a single point from safety.
"Bournemouth on the other hand look totally devoid of confidence and endured a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Newcastle United in mid-week," Owen added.
"I predicted a difficult season for Bournemouth way back in August and I’ve seen nothing to change my mind that they will be one of the teams to be relegated.
"United brushed aside Brighton 4-0 last time out and despite Bournemouth winning the reverse fixture 1-0 back in November I see this being another chastening experience for the Cherries."
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