Former Sporting Lisbon manager Carlos Carvalhal has claimed that new Manchester United signing Bruno Fernandes is on "another level" to Atletico Madrid starlet Joao Felix.
Fernandes finally completed his protracted transfer saga by joining United for an initial £46.6m yesterday, with potential add-ons seeing the fee rise to the second most expensive January deal in Premier League history.
The figure still pales in comparison to the £113m Atletico spent to sign Felix as a 19-year-old last year, and Carvalhal, who has experience of English football from his time in charge of Swansea City and Sheffield Wednesday, believes that Fernandes is a significantly better player than the man widely regarded as Portugal's successor to Cristiano Ronaldo.
"He is really very good. He is a player from another planet, the planet of Portugal is very small to him in this moment, he's an extraordinary player. Bruno is the best player in the league, he's miles ahead of the others. He is a complete player, and if you ask me to compare Bruno with a player, I will say Frank Lampard," Carvalhal told talkSPORT.
"Last season was fantastic, he scored 20 league goals, the season before he scored 11 and this season he has eight goals and seven assists, and this is a midfielder, not a winger or an attacker. He has very good deliveries in free kicks, makes very good assists, he's an athlete. He's not a number 10, he's an eight in my opinion, he's a worker, a box-to-box player.
"He also reminds me of Joao Moutinho, who I had at Sporting. I think Bruno Fernandes is different, because he has more goals, but they have something in common – they understand the game very well. He is very organised, he is always talking. He is 25 years old, he is in the Portugal first XI and he would be a fantastic addition in my opinion.
"About money, I don't know too much, but when Benfica sold Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid for €126m, the fans of Sporting will look to that and think: 'Come on, €65m [for Fernandes] is not enough!' Bruno Fernandes is another level to Joao Felix in my opinion, but I don't know if Bruno at 19 years old was the same level as Felix is now. But he is a ready player, he's a complete player."
Fernandes is set to make his debut for United against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.