Bruno Fernandes is hoping he gets the chance to play alongside Paul Pogba when the season resumes.
Pogba returned to training shortly before the season was halted, delaying the pairing of a world class partnership.
Fernandes has played against Pogba before, when he was in Serie A, and he knows the quality the Frenchman will bring to the team upon his return.
He told the club website: “We have a lot of confidence in Paul. I know Paul from Juve, because I played against him in Italy. And believe me, it’s really hard to play against Paul. Because I play in midfield, I mark him.
“We play in the same line, so it’s really difficult to play against Paul, because he has power, he has technique.
“It’s difficult to find a player like Paul: big, strong and technical. It’s difficult to find a player like this, and he has a lot of qualities.”
Fernandes’ arrival has taken the pressure off Paul Pogba, and whetted the appetite for the Frenchman’s return at the same time.
The Portuguese star has got United back on track since his arrival in January, and doesn’t know what it is like to lose a game yet for the Red Devils.
He believes this momentum will help Pogba to thrive when football resumes.
Fernandes said: “He has a lot to give, he has a lot of quality, and I think with the positive energy in the club – because we won a lot of games and we are in a good moment – everyone, the supporters and everything, will be more patient with Paul maybe.
“I feel sometimes when the things go wrong, the patience is less, you know? It’s normal, because the fans want to win. Football is about winning; it’s not about playing. But the confidence now in the team is bigger.
“So I think Paul, when he comes back, he will feel this and will give more for the next months and the next games.”
The big question for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is which is the best combination to fit Pogba and Fernandes together.
In a midfield trio, only one spot is left, for Nemanja Matic, Fred, and Scott McTominay to fight over.
Pogba and Fernandes are strong creatively, and while both are able and willing to contribute defensively, Matic allows the stronger balance.
One option is to revert to a midfield diamond, allowing Matic plus one of Fred and McTominay to feature as part of a quartet.
Where this could get complicated is next season if United sign Jadon Sancho, and width is needed as part of a front three, rather than the team playing with a more narrow midfield quartet.
It is a good problem for Solskjaer to have though, and it makes United more unpredictable. Over the course of a long season, different combinations will be needed, especially with njuries, as we have ound out this year.
We only hope that Fernandes and Pogba get the chances to fulfill their potential together, and the Frenchman gives it one full year next season.
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