‘It’s freed him up to play’: Rio Ferdinand raves about effect Bruno Fernandes has had on Manchester United team-mate Paul Pogba, claiming the French midfielder has been a ‘totally different player since the restart’
- Bruno Fernandes has made a tremendous impact since arriving at Man United
- The Portuguese’s influence has also seemingly improved Paul Pogba’s attitude
- Rio Ferdinand says Pogba is playing like he was when he signed four years ago
- United are two points off Chelsea in the hunt for a Premier League top-four spot
Bruno Fernandes’ arrival at Manchester United has ‘shouldered the burden of expectation’ on Paul Pogba, says former United defender Rio Ferdinand.
The Portuguese midfielder, signed from Sporting Lisbon for £66m in January, has hit the ground running and has immediately progressed into a fans favourite with a string of good performances.
And since the restart, Pogba – who had only played twice since September due to injury – has flourished alongside Fernandes in midfield and Ferdinand did not underplay the immense impact the January arrival has had on his team-mate.
Bruno Fernandes’ (L) arrival at Manchester United has ‘freed up’ team-mate Paul Pogba
Ex-United player Rio Ferdinand believes Fernandes has ‘shouldered the burden of expectation’
‘[Paul] Pogba has been a totally different player since the restart,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport.
‘The energy levels in his game, it’s the Pogba United paid £89m for four years ago. A big factor is undoubtedly the man he is playing with in the centre of midfield – Bruno Fernandes.
‘Pogba will not want to be shown up out there and that’s perhaps the motivation he needed. Solskjaer will be absolutely loving what he’s seeing from those two.
‘Fernandes is just doing what comes naturally to him and it’s been a huge boost to Pogba’s form – it’s freed him up to play as well.
‘There’s probably less pressure on him now because he knows that some of the burden of expectation is being shouldered by Fernandes.’
Pogba has returned to the starting XI a different player since the Premier League restarted
Pogba was introduced from the substitutes bench in United’s first game back against Tottenham after the restart, winning a penalty which was converted by Fernandes to salvage a point.
Since then, after a double against Brighton last week, Fernandes was on the scoresheet again at the weekend as United strolled past Bournemouth 5-2 on Saturday.
That leaves Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team firmly in the hunt for a top-four finish – the Red Devils are currently fifth in the table, two points off Chelsea a spot ahead of them.
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