Manchester United talisman Bruno Fernandes has revealed conversations he had with Paul Pogba upon arriving at Old Trafford last January about their potential partnership.
Fernandes has had a stunning impact at United, contributing to 33 goals in 30 Premier League appearances.
What’s more, the Portuguese has scored more goals and registered more assists than any other midfielder in the division since his top-flight debut.
However, his partnership with Pogba is one aspect of his signing which has not come to full fruition. Many pundits expected Fernandes and the Frenchman to form a deadly duo in midfield.
But while it has not happened as expected, Fernandes has revealed that he has spoken with Pogba about their link-up.
“Straight away when I arrived, he was injured,” Fernandes told NBC Sport. “I saw him recovering and training on the pitch away from us.
“He was calling me sometimes when I was training and he said: ‘I’m seeing the games, I’m seeing your movement, don’t worry. When I’m fit, I will show you that I can find you.’
“‘I see you move, you move to the right and to the left, in behind. When I come back, I will show you how I can find you a lot.’
“It shows you the confidence he gives to you, like when he comes back, he’s trying to help you become better and you help him to become better.”
Pogba was in the midst of his second foot injury of the season last January. But while he recovered soon after, the first coronavirus lockdown prevented him from returning until June.
The 27-year-old and Fernandes have since shown glimpses of their partnership together. However, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a plethora of midfield options, including Fred and Scott McTominay.
As such, while Fernandes has maintained a regular place in the side, Pogba remains in the battle for such a role.
Indeed, he has continued to struggle this season after contracting Covid-19 in the summer. But he has shown somewhat of a resurgence of late.
Fernandes backs Pogba
“We ended the [2019/20] season really well playing together. But of course the beginning of the season was hard for Paul because he had Covid,” Fernandes added.
“We know it’s not a joke, it’s hard to come back after 15 days isolated doing nothing. It was really difficult for Paul to find his form but I think he’s much better and feeling much more confident.
“The goal against West Ham [in December] gave him much more confidence. The team needs him and he has the quality to help us.”
Pogba did not play in Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Watford due to injury. But while he may miss the clash with Burnley on Tuesday, he could well return for Sunday’s match against Liverpool.