‘Intelligent, imaginative’ Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes can see Manchester United surprise teams, says Berbatov

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will soon have Paul Pogba available after a long injury absence, to boost his midfield options once football restarts.

All domestic and European action is currently on hold as the world battles against the coronavirus pandemic, but United were on an upturn in form just before the enforced break.

A big part of that was the signing and immediate impact of Bruno Fernandes, with one of Solskjaer’s big jobs over the coming weeks and months being to figure out how to get both he and Pogba playing effectively in the same side.

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Ex-United striker Dimitar Berbatov says the Portuguese midfielder has had a fantastic effect on the team, but has his doubts as to whether the duo can function together.

“Fernandes has quickly become an influential player for United,” he said.

“I’m pleased and impressed by how well integrated into the team he’s become in a short space of time.

“His teammates are looking for him with the ball because they know he can create magic. He looks happy to be playing for United. I really hope he continues in this form.

“As a fan of Paul Pogba, I want him to stay at United, I think it would be best for him, but I am curious to see how he will link up with Fernandes. I don’t know if Fernandes and Pogba can play together.”

Writing in his column with an online bookmaker, Berbatov did allow as to the elite mental qualities of both being a positive consideration.

The talents of both, if Solskjaer can harness them, could make United a force once more in the top flight, he feels.

“They’re similar players, both intelligent enough to think three steps ahead when they’re on the ball.

“Sometimes footballers are too similar to play together.

“But I hope that’s not the case here because, with Fernandes and Pogba in the same midfield, United could be a very imaginative team that would surprise opponents next season or even sooner.”

United have frequently played a 4-2-3-1 of late, when not utilising a back three, with Fernandes in the centre of the attacking midfield line.

The obvious option there would be to see Pogba play as one of the double pivots, a role which he operated in for France as they won the 2018 World Cup.

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