Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been warned that if he continues to pick Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the same system then United "are not going to challenge for the title".
That is the view of former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy, who claimed the pair do not offer enough defensively to play together against the top teams, especially given the strengthe of United's defence.
Speaking to talkSPORT Murphy said: "I said initially when Fernandes came that there's going to be a problem and I still think it is a problem. Pogba and Fernandes in the same team makes them too offensive and against the better opposition you'll get found out.
"They're both brilliant technicians and creative footballers and they're defensive mindset is reactive not proactive. They don't spot danger, they react afterwards. They see it and think 'I'd better get back' but it's not a natural thing to them.
"The only time I've ever seen Pogba defend in a defensive-minded way was for France under [Didier] Deschamps when he was next to [N'Golo] Kante and he put in a hell of a shift against Belgium. But generally, he is a creative player and he's a brilliant player."
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He later added: "I don't think, moving forward, United are going to challenge for the title, I'm not talking about top four I'm talking about getting back to competing for the title, by having five offensive match winners in the team. I just don't think you can do it.
"Unless they change their back players and get four Van Dijk's. They are not going to challenge for the title playing those two in midfield.
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"Then the question arises about Van de Beek. Now if you watch him, and I've watched him a lot, he is proactive with his defending. He is a box-to-box, super fit, all-round midfielder who can do things defensively that those two don't want to do.
"If those two [Pogba and Fernandes] play together in a midfield three against the best other five teams in the league, I don't think they'll be near winning the league."
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