Luke Shaw reveals how Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes fared in first training session together
Luke Shaw says Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes looked ‘very strong’ and the competition was fierce as the two midfielders trained together for the first time at Manchester United this week. Fernandes has hit the ground running after completing a £47million move from Sporting to Old Trafford in January and the 25-year-old is yet to suffer defeat in his opening nine appearances for United, racking up three goals and four assists in the process. The Portuguese’s outstanding performances have raised further questions about Pogba and his future at the club but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists there is room for both players in his starting XI. Fernandes has been a breath of fresh air since joining from Sporting (Picture: Getty) And despite only training with Pogba for the first time on Tuesday, Fernandes jumped to the Frenchman’s defence last month and urged United supporters to be ‘patient’ with his new team-mate. TOP ARTICLES 5/5 READ MORE Barcelona want just £45m for Arsenal and Juventus target Ousmane Dembele While Pogba and Fernandes will have to wait a few more weeks before returning to action, the sight of the two midfielders
training alongside each other at Carrington understandably got fans rather excited on Tuesday. Solskjaer’s squad has had to split up and work in separate time slots to adhere to social distancing rules and Pogba and Fernandes were placed in a group with Nemanja Matic and Angel Gomes. According to Shaw, that group was particularly competitive and the players involved looked ‘very strong’. On how United’s players have fared, Shaw told MUTV: ‘We’ve been split into different groups in different time slots – half of us in the morning, half in the afternoon – so I’ve mostly just been seeing people that I’ve been in the same time session as. ‘Each group trains maybe 15 or 20 minutes after each other and that gives us the chance to have a little chat and see how everyone else is. It’s nice to see the players and staff; everyone’s looking really good from what I’ve seen. A lot of good has come from this week. Shaw says Pogba and Fernandes looked ‘very strong’ in
training (Picture: Getty) ‘Everyone has clearly got a high level of fitness, which shows how dedicated and professional we’ve all been during lockdown. I’ve been running with Jamo [Daniel James] a lot – he was in my group to start with, and he looked really sharp. ‘On Tuesday we saw the group of Paul [Pogba], Bruno [Fernandes], Angel [Gomes] and Nemanja [Matic], and those four are looking very strong and very good. There was a lot of competition and shouting going on in that group. It’s clear that everyone’s still got that winning desire, even in training. We’ve missed that. ‘At first we were in groups of four, with the players picked at random. It had nothing to do with positions, it was just totally randomised, given a time slot and we all did the same sort of training. It was physically hard going, then some ball work to get us used to the work again and of course some running. ‘The last few days now have been more position-specific. It’s still a set number of
people in your group, but a bit more focus on working on your position, so obviously full-backs and centre-backs doing ball work together in my case.’ Solskjaer’s side are sitting fifth in the Premier League table (Picture: Getty) Shaw claims United’s entire squad are ‘very excited’ about the prospect of the season restarting, with Premier League clubs set to meet on Thursday for further talks. ‘It’s been great to have the ball at my feet again, but to be honest every aspect of it has been enjoyable,’ the England international added. ‘Just getting back to training, being back on our own pitches, being in our own training kit… it feels like things are moving forward. ‘We all missed the ball a lot, but I think it’s more that we missed being together. Everyone’s here now, even the lads who have been out injured for a long time, and it feels great.