The main midfield partnership for Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be forged by Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, Louis Saha reckons.
Winner of the France World Cup, Pogba struggled to meet the expectations that surrounded him when he returned to United nearly four years ago for a second spell.
Since his return to the Premier League, the former prospect of the United Academy, whose career first properly flourished after a move to Juventus in 2012, has often faced criticism for United’s mediocre form.
Saha said that at times with Pogba, shortcomings were made out to be “all his fault”.
Now, former Red Devils striker Louis Saha says, Paul Pogba is ready to play his best football for Manchester United and “shut down the critics”
Fellow Frenchman Saha says Pogba, who has recovered from the injuries that derailed his season, is now determined to contribute to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team as English football resumes this month.
Speaking to, Saha said of Pogba: “He had a tough season plagued by injuries. He came back very motivated, that’s what some of the players told me.”
Pogba, who could pair up with eye-catching January recruit Bruno Fernandes in midfield, has been publicly supported by the United manager, and Saha says he remains a footballer’s gem:
“He’s among the world’s best players.
“When I talk to him on the phone, he’s super motivated, so I really want to see not a new Pogba, but Pogba with support. I don’t think he was supported.
“Now he has Bruno Fernandes next to him, who’s another leader, another creator.”
Another French player at United, Anthony Martial, has linked up well with Fernandes already, with their interplay earning plaudits this week from manager Solskjaer.
Saha praised Martial’s development this season, in which he has become a regular scorer for United.
“I’m a real fan of Anthony,” Saha said. “I was frustrated maybe a year ago because I knew his potential but, on the pitch, I saw him lost left or right. The guy, he can do anything, he’s got huge potential.”
“I’m really excited about that sharing of the responsibilities, I really want to watch that team,” said Saha, who won two Premier League titles at United, about Fernandes now teaming up with Pogba.
However, Saha, a United player from 2004 to 2008, accepts Pogba will be linked with other clubs at the end of the season.
“The season is almost over and with the transfer market, his name will probably be in the box,” Saha said. “But he’s very motivated, he’s incredibly talented, he already proved himself, but now he has a better platform to improve and shut down the critics, sometimes justified.”