Man Utd boss Solskjaer issued Pogba and Fernandes warning in Van de Beek transfer claim

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a big decision on his hands regarding Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, because he cannot continue to name both midfielders in his side after their performance on Saturday against Brighton. That’s the opinion of ex-Liverpool player Danny Murphy, who warned the United boss that Pogba is a defensive liability.  

United were fortunate to beat Brighton at the Amex on Saturday. 

The hosts hit the woodwork five times and were unlucky to come away from the game with nothing. 

Neal Maupay opened the scoring with a cheeky panenka penalty after Fernandes clipped Tariq Lamptey inside the area.  

Brighton felt they should have had another spot-kick when Pogba brought down Aaron Connolly inside the box, only for VAR to overturn the decision. 

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And Murphy believes Pogba will always be a problem defensively for Solskjaer, because he is always thinking of moving the ball forward.  

He explained in his Daily Mail column that the Frenchman in the same team as Fernandes will create problems for the Red Devils defensively. 

Murphy wrote: “Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a big decision to make because Manchester United will continue to ship goals if he keeps on naming Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the same line-up. 

“Excellent creative players as they are, neither is good enough defensively to play together in a three-man midfield. That is certainly the case against any of the Big Six and on Saturday they were repeatedly caught out against Brighton.” 

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Murphy went on to praise the arrival of Donny van de Beek, who signed from Ajax for £40.5million in the summer. 

Van de Beek is more comfortable in a defensive midfield position, and Murphy believes his arrival should help to lower the defensive burden on Pogba and Fernandes.  

He continued: “It is not laziness on Bruno or Pogba’s part, it is just an aspect of their game that defensively they are reactive rather than proactive.  

“They just do not spot or sense danger quickly enough. By the time they realise they need to get back, it is too late. 

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“I think it is significant that United have signed Donny van de Beek from Ajax.  

“He has got more energy and is more of a genuine box-to-box player than Pogba or Bruno.  

“I think once he is fully integrated into the United set-up, he starts with a more orthodox holding midfield player and that leaves one spot left for the two glamour players, unless you are up against a weaker team at Old Trafford without much attacking threat. 

“Over the past few months, I have to say Bruno has been more influential in an attacking sense than Pogba, so I do not know where that leaves the Frenchman, who has been substituted just over an hour into both United’s Premier League games.” 

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