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Football Reporting


Pogba & Fernandes still a possibility for Man Utd as Solskjaer mulls over his options

The Red Devils boss believes he can get two playmaking talents, along with Donny van de Beek, into his starting XI at some stage this season

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not ruling out the possibility of getting Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek into the same starting XI this season, with the Manchester United boss excited by the talent at his disposal.

The Red Devils are blessed with international-calibre options throughout their midfield department, with the biggest problem facing their manager being how to keep them all happy.

That is a headache that Solskjaer is looking to embrace, with the Norwegian aware that he can be more adventurous at times.

He was expected to find a way of fitting Pogba and Fernandes into his side on a regular basis, allowing a World Cup winner and Portuguese talisman to pull the strings for those around them.

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Solskjaer has steered away from that selection on the whole, with a more solid system favoured that includes two holding options, but he is willing to experiment when the opportunity presents itself.

The United boss told Sky Sports of his playmaking crop: “Over a long season it might be that they get a run of games together. It might be that we have a system that suits all of them together.

“But then you’ve got Nemanja [Matic], Scott [McTominay] and Fred, and the balance they can give you. It’s difficult to see a team without at least one of them, because of that balance. All of them will play their part – it’s just down to them to perform when they get their chances.”

Ahead of Fernandes and company, United have added the vast experience of Edinson Cavani to their striking department.

Solskjaer is expecting the prolific Uruguayan to be a perfect mentor to the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, with the Red Devils looking to unlock their considerable potential in the final third.

“We’ve got some exceptional pace on the break and when we have to drop deep and defend, we know we can use that,” Solskjaer added.

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“But we want to be on the front foot. With Bruno coming it, we’re managing to break teams down more often.

“After that, we added Donny, with his movement, his cleverness around the box and spatial awareness, which is brilliant for us, then there’s Edinson, who can be in the box, and Alex [Telles] with his crossing. So, we’re working on the style by trying to piece together a squad of players which gives us more ways to play.

“What’s exciting is that these players can improve as well. Most of them are still in a phase of their careers where they can develop a lot.”

United, who are yet to drop a point away from home this season, will be back in Premier League action on Saturday when they take in a trip to West Ham.

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