Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is excited to see how Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes develop together as the Manchester United manager once again reiterated his intention to keep the France midfielder.
United are preparing for a key FA Cup quarter-final clash at Norwich amid wild celebrations down the road at Liverpool, who on Thursday saw their 30-year wait for the league title come to an end.
Solskjaer’s fifth-placed side are an eye-watering 37 points behind the Reds and, despite being on a 13-match unbeaten run in all competitions, need to improve if they are to launch a first title challenge since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
The January arrival of Fernandes has certainly boosted their chances, as has Pogba’s return to fitness, with the World Cup winner making his first start since September in Wednesday’s 3-0 win against Sheffield United.
“I am certain that they can play well together, yes, because they have proven both in training and in the games they’ve played together that it’s exciting,” Solskjaer said of the midfield duo.
“There will be rotations, there will be times when Paul will play up with Bruno, sometimes it’s deeper, sometimes you play with a diamond.
“Of course it has been encouraging to see them together but it’s also encouraging how Nemanja (Matic), Scott (McTominay) and Fred are making it difficult for me to leave them out, which is a good position for me to be in as a coach.
“But of course you want to give Paul the chance to get 100 per cent fit and back to his best.
“He has been out for so long. I think it says everything about the quality of the boy, his performances.”
Pogba put in a promising display against the Blades and looks determined to end the season on a high, but speculation about his future is never far away.
Asked if he was confident Pogba would still be at Old Trafford next season, Solskjaer said with a laugh: “Here we go again!
“I don’t think you can ever question Paul’s professionality. He is a very, very professional boy and he lives his life the right way. He wants to be the best he can be.
“He knows he’s a special talent and he doesn’t want to in five, 10 years’ time look back and say, ‘I didn’t make the most of it’.
“Because he is already a World Cup winner, he has won things with Juventus and us, so I’m not surprised by his enthusiasm and dedication to us.
“And, yes, we are looking to keep Paul here and we’re looking to keep the best players here anyway.”