Manchester United Forced To Wait For Paul Pogba And Bruno Fernandes Pairing
Manchester United won't start with Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes against Tottenham Hotspur on Friday night, with the Frenchman set to start from the bench.
Fernandes excellent start to life at Old Trafford, since joining at the end of January, led to fans hoping they'd soon see him and fellow attack minded midfielder Pogba in the same team together.
The Frenchman has been out injured since December and, despite the extended break, he isn't quite ready to start the game this week, according to The Athletic.
The outlet says that Solskjaer and the team have been working with a starting line up that doesn't include Pogba, despite impressing in training, but that he's likely to come into contention to start, sooner rather than later.
Pogba's whole season has been disrupted by injury and he's played just eight games in all competitions for Solskjaer's team.
He last played in December against Newcastle United, coming on at half time to play his part in a 4-0 win over Steve Bruce's side, and the half an hour he played in a loss to Watford four days before had been his first action in three months.
There have previously been doubts about the 27-year-old's desire to stay at Old Trafford and a mix up over communication to do with his injury led some to believe he was using it as a way out of the club.
In Pogba's absence the side have occasionally been lacking in midfield spark but the addition of Fernandes from Sporting at the end of the January transfer window has changed that.
The Portugal midfielder scored two and set up three in his first five appearances in the Premier League for Solskjaer's side and has been part of nine games during United's 11 match unbeaten run before lockdown.
Fernandes was previously linked with Friday's opponents Spurs in the past but it is Pogba who is more likely to be desperate to get one over on the north London side.
Should he make it on the pitch, and with five substitutes you'd expect he will, the World Cup winner will come up against Jose Mourinho, the man who told him he'd never captain United again and dropped him to the bench for several weeks before his sacking in December 2018.
A win for Solskjaer over his predecessor could go a long way to helping the 13 times Premier League champions from getting into the Champions League places for next season.
They will be helped in the final nine games by finding a way to get both Pogba and Fernandes playing alongside each other.