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One sitter with Pogba and Fernandes in front: Gary Neville on how the Manchester United midfield should line up

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Varun Totadri
ANALYST
Modified 27 Oct 2020, 19:25 IST
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According to former Manchester United right-back Gary Neville, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes should be used together as an advanced pairing in midfield. Neville believes United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to make changes to his formation in order to accommodate both stars in the Red Devils midfield.

Manchester United signed Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in January of 2020. The signing of Fernandes coincided with a massive turn in fortunes for Manchester United, with the Portuguese midfielder carrying the Red Devils from eighth place to third in the Premier League at the end of the season.

Manchester United fans were excited at the prospect of Fernandes pairing up with club-record signing Paul Pogba in the heart of United's midfielder. The duo seemed to click together towards the end of last season, but have been unable to rekindle the same partnership at the start of the current campaign.

This has led Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to make repeated changes to Manchester United's midfield. Solskjaer has preferred to use Scott McTominay and Fred at the base of the midfield with Fernandes up top, to add some much-needed bite and dynamism to the middle of the park.

Paul Pogba has been a substitute in Manchester United's last two Premier League matches while Fernandes has been an ever-present fixture in the starting line-up since joining the club.

Gary Neville feels Manchester United should play Pogba further forward alongside Bruno Fernandes in midfield

Sevilla v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Semi Final
Sevilla v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Semi Final

Neville feels Solskjaer should play Pogba and Fernandes further forward together and use one defender to cover.

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"I think it's a problem when you have £150 million worth of midfield players on the bench. You've got a player (Pogba) who has won a World Cup, he's been dominant in Europe with Juventus, and he's Manchester United's record signing, yet he can't get in the team at the moment," said Neville to Sky Sports.
"Me and Patrice Evra disagreed before the game on Saturday. Patrice was disappointed with the team selected because he felt that Manchester United were rotating and not playing their strongest team," Neville revealed.
"I think Ole thought Saturday's team was the strongest team. For me, I've never understood why Ole hasn't tried one sitter with Pogba and Fernandes in front, like De Bruyne and Silva. De Bruyne and Silve weren't disciplined midfield players before Pep Guardiola came to Man City, he made them that," opined Neville.
"That's the only system where you could get those two into midfield. More often than not, Ole has played Matic with Pogba sitting alongside Fernandes in front. Pogba can't play there because you need to be disciplined, but with a one and two in front, I think you can have a bit more freedom to run forward," stated Neville.

Manchester United have bounced back from their 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Tottenham by winning away at Newcastle and PSG. The Red Devils will be hoping to continue that form into the coming few weeks, in which they have crucial fixtures.

Published 27 Oct 2020, 19:25 IST
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