Pogba and Bruno could be devastating as a duo

Wednesday 15 April 2020 09:19

There isn't any football to look forward to in this strange and unusual time, when the game has been postponed for over a month and counting, yet the prospect of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba playing in the Manchester United midfield is definitely something to hold onto.

A partnership between the world-class midfielders has been pulled into focus across the last 24 hours, following the release of Pogba’s UTD Podcast and Fernandes’s complementary comments. Such an alliance might take United to the next level as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues a rebuilding process that was gathering pace via an 11-match unbeaten run, before society was locked down. 

Both players are sublime talents with contrasting qualities that may combine perfectly, so when might we see it for the first time? That’s the big question that nobody has an answer to, and we must be patient while bigger matters are tackled, but there’s nothing wrong with anticipation. In fact, we all need it.
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“For these nine league games that are left, it would be like having a new player because this season we've rarely seen Paul Pogba,” says Class of ’92 graduate Ben Thornley, speaking on Tuesday’s episode of the MUTV Group Chat. “We can talk about bringing players in, but we haven't really seen Pogba delivering on his potential for one reason or another. It would be great to see him forming a partnership with Bruno Fernandes, because he is a terrific player. Watching them both of them play in the same team is something that I think Manchester United fans will be relishing.”
Of course, much has changed since Pogba last appeared for United on Boxing Day, after the January signing of Fernandes injected a confidence and swagger into the team that directly led to improved form. The Portuguese magnifico is a huge fans’ favourite, already has his own chant, has won two Player-of-the-Month awards and is arguably the first name on Solskjaer’s team-sheet right now. 

Such a focus on Fernandes could benefit a player like Pogba, who has grown accustomed to being the star name throughout his time as a Red. “There's been a lot of pressure on Paul,” says Wes Brown. “But he's a humble guy, a normal guy, and he just wants to show everybody what he can do. 

“He's had a lot of stick of late, but at the same time I'm looking forward to him coming back. He's got a new challenge with Bruno coming in and we're all looking forward to seeing what that partnership brings, because Paul wants to play the best that he can. It’s definitely something to look forward to.”
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As Brown alludes to, the release of Pogba’s UTD Podcast has highlighted a humility that is often overlooked and that is the main takeaway for co-host David May. “To be truthful, I'd only said hello to Paul a couple of times but this was the first time I'd spoken to him and it was for about an hour and a half, which has been trimmed down a little bit for the show. What a humble guy, he really is. 

“What viewers and listeners will probably understand now is the pain that he's been going through while being injured, and how much he has wanted to play through the pain barrier. ‘Humble and down to earth’ is not how he's been painted in the media, but he just loves football and when you listen to it you get the full story of that.”
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That sentiment is echoed by former Academy graduate Danny Webber, whose own experiences with Pogba continue to underline his belief in the player and person. “Whenever I've come across Paul he's always had a real humility about him,” says the ex-Red. “That was before he left United and since he's come back I've never seen anything that would tell me anything otherwise. 

“You shouldn't have to justify having a character. I know part of that is on social media and that rubs some people up the wrong way, but for me I just want to see him back playing and especially with the players we've brought to the club. Him and Bruno playing in the middle of the park, making things tick, is very exciting. I'm sure he will be back and firing as soon as possible.”
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When we see a partnership between Pogba and Fernandes is uncertain, of course, yet one absolute certainty is the selection headache that Solskjaer will suffer whenever that day finally arrives, with so many other viable options available to him in that central midfield area.  

Scott McTominay is already one of our players of the year and the same can be said about Fred, our diminutive Brazilian fighter who has overcome a difficult first season to cement himself as an influential figure in the team. Nemanja Matic will also have something to say about selection following an excellent spell that has underlined the experienced Serbian’s enduring qualities.

As we enter a fifth week without fixtures, there are simple joys to be taken from these positives.  

Remember, football will return and Manchester United will endure. 

Whenever we do return, there might be a world-class partnership to enjoy.

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