Bruno Fernandes, Odion Ighalo and Paul Pogba in training

Fernandes and Pogba link-up excites Solskjaer

Friday 26 June 2020 22:30

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is encouraged by the connection Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes have already established after just a handful of games together.

The midfield pair started alongside each other for the first time on Wednesday in the 3-0 home win over Sheffield United, and combined with devastating effect several times on the night, not least in the build-up to Anthony Martial’s third strike.

While it can often be tough to find room in the same team for two creative players, Ole has no doubt Paul and Bruno can operate in tandem, even if it means slightly altering his tactical set-up.
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“I’m certain they can play well together, yes,” said the boss, ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup quarter-final tie with Norwich City. 

“They’ve both played well in training and in the games they play together it’s exciting. There will be rotations and there will be times that Paul will play up with Bruno, sometimes it’s deeper, sometimes we will play with a diamond. It’s encouraging to see them together. 

“It’s also encouraging to see how Nemanja [Matic], Scott [McTominay] and Fred are making it difficult for me to keep them out,” Ole added. 

“It’s a good position to be in as a coach and you want to give Paul a chance to get 100 per cent fit with practice and rest. He’s been out for so long and I think it says everything about the boy with the quality of his performances.”
After his introduction from the bench changed the game against Tottenham Hotspur last week, Paul impressed as a starter in Wednesday's win over the Blades. 

With the first half of the Frenchman’s injury-affected season now behind him, Ole is delighted to see Paul back out on the pitch and performing at such a high level.

“He’s a very professional boy and he lives his life the right way,” the boss told reporters during his pre-match press conference.
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“He wants to be the best and he knows he’s a special talent. He doesn’t want, in five or 10 years’ time, to look back and think: ‘I didn’t make the most of it’.

“He’s already a World Cup winner and he has won things at Juventus and with us. I’m not surprised by his enthusiasm and dedication to us. Yes, we are looking to keep Paul here, and we’re looking to keep the best players here anyway.”

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