Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed that he is excited by the prospect of fielding Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba in the same midfield when the 2019/20 Premier League campaign finally resumes.
Portuguese schemer Fernandes has made a sensational start with United since his big-money move from Sporting Lisbon at the end of January, however he is yet to play a single minute alongside enigmatic World Cup winner Paul Pogba, due to the Frenchman’s injury disrupted season.
Pogba has made just seven Premier League appearances in total since August last year, and hasn’t been seen in United red since Boxing Day having made a fleeting return following a foot problem originally picked up at Southampton in August.
While the 27-year-old, who is rumoured to be angling for a move away from the club, has provided little impact this term, the same cannot be said of Fernandes, who has lifted spirits at the Theatre of Dreams thanks to a series of magical displays.
The Pogba/Bruno conundrum
Bruno has thrived with the freedom afforded to him by Solskjaer, and the former Sampdoria star replaced much of the creativity United had lost in Pogba’s absence – in fact, the midfielder has filled the void so well, that many have pondered whether he and the French international would be able share the same pitch.
Brazilian anchorman Fred, who is enjoying his best period in a United shirt, the revitalised Serbian destroyer Nemanja Matic and the rapidly developing Scott McTominay have all brought real balance to Solskjaer’s midfield thanks to their range of very different talents, and from the outside at least, it seems difficult to find space for the marauding Pogba in the starting XI without affecting harmony in engine room.
However, while speaking to Sky Sports this week, Solskjaer offered a positive counter to those doubting Bruno and Pogba’s ability to gel, saying: “Good players can always play together, so definitely, they can – it’s a big yes. I think it’s exciting, we do have an exciting squad. I’ve got Scott (McTominay), Fred, Nemanja (Matic).
“There’s many games coming up and I’m sure we can find a good connection between them. We’ve been discussing that as a coaching team of course, and we’re looking forward to it.
“Of course, Bruno coming in, making the impact he made, it was a boost for everyone, the club, supporters and players. Getting Paul and Marcus Rashford back would be fantastic.
“Paul has had a difficult season with injuries, and Marcus as well is getting back. So for us, and for them too, this gives them a chance to start on a par or even ahead of other players.”
United’s summer business
Solskjaer meanwhile, also discussed his plans for when the summer transfer window eventually opens. While football’s financial bubble has never looked more fragile with the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, United seem to be on a firmer footing than most, and could take advantage of their cash poor rivals to strengthen more frugally ahead of the start of next season.
The Norwegian said: “We’re always looking to improve the squad. This uncertainty in the market now, who knows how football and the market is going to be, but I’m very happy with the squad I’ve got.
“Today’s world is different to what it was two months ago. We’ve got to adjust, adapt, there’s clubs out there struggling more than us financially. It’s a new world, and I think the transfer market this summer will be completely different to what anyone thought it would be.”
United have been heavily linked with a swoop for Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho, while Aston Villa talisman Jack Grealish is also thought to be on their radar.
More FST news