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Will a Pogba-Fernandes partnership work at Man United?

The fans of Manchester United are eager to see if a midfield partnership between winter signing Bruno Fernandes and the club-record signing Paul Pogba can conjure up for Man United when the Premier League season resumes. Both Pogba and Fernandes haven’t played together in the United first team as Fernandes’ arrival at Old Trafford coincided with Pogba ankle injury. Pogba has now fully recovered, and the fans of Man United are hoping that his pending partnership with the Portuguese can spark some improvements for Man United. In modern football, most elite teams in Europe have multiple creative fulcrums who work in tandem with one another. Some of these creative fulcrums include Neymar Jnr and Kylian Mbappe for PSG, Kevin De Bruyne, and Bernardo Silva for Man City and Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino for Liverpool. Good players should be able to play alongside each other and complement each other.

When the league resumes, Pogba will be entering a completely different setup at Man United. Fernandes has proven to be a catalyst for Solskjaer’s side who have won six out of eight games he has featured. He has contributed seven goals in his opening nine games in all competitions. Tactically, Solskjaer would need to shuffle his pack to fit both Pogba and Fernandes into the same line-up. Pogba could occupy the left central midfield position, which is the number 8 position with Fernandes just in front of him. Pogba and Fernandes are naturally forward-thinking midfielders. They have to play together alongside a defensive midfielder who will sit behind them and do the dirty works. The presence of a defensive midfielder will make Fernandes the primary creative source inside the final third and will help relieve some of the attacking duties from Pogba’s shoulders. These duties have often weighed heavily on him. Pogba will dictate and build the attack from deep. Despite registering just seven appearances in the Premier League this season, Pogba has an average of 0.7 through balls per game this season. His distribution on the ball is undoubtedly his biggest strength, a trait that will help feed Fernandes into more advanced positions. Fernandes has averaged 2.6 shots per game from open play since his arrival, so having a creative figure in-behind will only compliment his movement and attacking mindset in driving the team forward.

For a while now, Pogba has yearned for an extra top quality midfield partner who is on his level in terms of technical ability, and it seems Fernandes is the ideal partner in crime for Pogba.

 

Can Pogba and Fernandes make Man United great again?

The fans of Man United are very optimistic that Pogba and Fernandes can restore the team to their former glories. The partnership between Pogba and Fernandes can benefit Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. These two strikers are in sparkling form this season, and the Man United faithful are of the view that the pair can form a prolific attacking duo in the Premier League with the help of Pogba and Fernandes. This season, Rashford had bagged 19 goals in all competitions before sustaining a severe back injury in January. Martial has also scored 16 times in all matches, one short of his best seasonal tally. During the era of the legendary boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, Man United could boast of quality players, and those players propelled them to win silverware. Ferguson’s Premier League era saw Man United boast of a reliable team that included the likes of Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs, Carlos Tevez, and Michael Carrick. They helped the Red Devils to win the Premier League and UEFA Champions League trophies in the 2007-08 season.

Fans are now hopeful that the qualities of Pogba and Fernandes can help Man United reach similar heights. Man United has not won a Premier League title since 2012. If the pairing of Pogba and Fernandes should click, then Man United will be a serious contender of the premier league title come next season.

 

What’s next for the duo?

Manchester United are currently lying fifth on the table and are three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea. Man United will resume their Premier League season with a tough trip to Tottenham on Friday, June 19. There is growing optimism that the pairing of Pogba and Fernandes could help the team fight for a Champions League spot with nine games to end the season. Pogba’s future has been the subject of transfer speculations with Real Madrid and his former club, Juventus.

A flourishing partnership between Pogba and Fernandes for the remainder of the season can convince both Man United and Pogba to explore the possibility of extending Pogba’s contract beyond 2022.

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