United fans are desperate to see Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes back in action once Premier League football resumes for them on June 19.
However, they may be in for bit of a rude surprise in that regard.
According to the Athletic, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly planning to bench Paul Pogba for the Premier League resumption game against Tottenham Hotspur on Friday.
It appears that the Norwegian gaffer is working on a starting XI that won’t feature the Frenchman for the time being. As such, Fernandes will likely be paired in the midfield with the familiar and relatable Fred with Scott McTominay or Nemanja Matic fulfilling the central and holding duties.
This will certainly come as a blow for fans who had gotten their first taste of the maestros in action during a closed doors friendly against West Bromwich Albion.
While the pairing failed to secure a victory in that game, Solskjaer’s speculated choice is likely due to the fact that Pogba has been absent from professional football for months altogether. While the same argument can be extended to his teammates too, Pogba’s injury woes were long before the lockdown period as well, with regular back-to-back performances coming only as early as last September.
As such, refraining from immediate reintroduction into the starting lineup would make sense from trying to play things safe and probably easing the World Cup winner into the heat of things.
This would also make sense with regard to the lineups that Solskjaer chose for the friendlies. The first game, which United lost 2-1, was most probably the default attacking trident in play. The second game, won 3-1, featured the more traditional defensive options. Hence, populating in the midfield is something that the gaffer could be working on.
It will be interesting to see if this graded return has a bearing on the alleged exit-bound tendency of the former Juventus player.
Just how long will fans have to wait before seeing the two together?