Football News

‘Playing with the best brings out the best in me’ — Fernandes on how Pogba has improved his game at Man Utd

By Ben Green

‘Playing with the best brings out the best in me’ — Fernandes on how Pogba has improved his game at Man Utd

Published: 14:53, 20 April 2021

Manchester United superstar Bruno Fernandes has articulated just how important Paul Pogba has been to his development at Old Trafford. 

Fernandes, 26, has been a game-changing acquisition for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since joining the club from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020, scoring 36 goals and registering 22 assists in just 72 games across all competitions.

That stellar form has culminated in the Portuguese playmaker securing Man Utd’s ‘Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year’ award for 2019/20, while he also clinched four Premier League ‘Player of the Month’ accolades in 2020 alone, the most by a single player in a calendar year.

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Fernandes has largely been attributed with the recent successes of Solskjaer’s side, chiefly consolidating the Premier League runners-up position behind champions elect Manchester City and reaching the Europa League semi-finals, but the midfielder insists he is not alone in elevating the club this season.

Instead, the 27-capped Portugal international has identified midfield teammate Pogba as a player who has helped him seamlessly transition into the Man Utd first team and taken his game to a new level, believing the World Cup-winning Frenchman is among the “best” in the sport.

He told the club’s official website: “My relationship with Paul since the beginning, as I met Paul already in Italy, I already know him with much, much relation but, of course, we have a good relationship.

“I think, on the pitch, there is still to come the best for both of us. We can do much better together. I think we are doing better now because people and players are concerned about who they might mark – we have Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the same places, the same pockets. Sometimes it is difficult for players to find who to mark and who to give freedom and so it’s good for the team. That is the best for us because we know we can help the team playing together.

“I think when you play with the best, your best comes out also. For me, playing with Paul, it’s playing with one of the best players in the world. So I think the best of me comes out and it’s helped me to have those kind of qualities.

“I think Paul is one of the players who has a good spirit, good moments in the dressing room. He’s a really funny guy and can always have something good to say to make people laugh.”