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A familiar debate has been reignited in the wake of Paul Pogba's outstanding impact for France at Euro 2020.
The Manchester United midfielder may have underwhelming in the Budapest cauldron as the tournament favourites were held in blistering heat by Hungary.
But his mesmerising performance against Germany remains one of the standout individual showings so far.
Pogba's spellbinding pass for Lucas Hernandez created the decisive goal in Munich's Allianz Arena, a stroke of magic that was an unneeded reminder of his quality.
France boss Didier Deschamps has made Pogba his main protagonist and he indulges in the freedom he is afforded on the international stage.
But his exploits in the blue of France only add to the mystery of a failure to reach the same level on a consistent basis at Old Trafford.
Paul Pogba was man of the match against Germany
Pogba is Deschamps' leader for France but he does not have that same luxury at United and that is partly down to the indispensable Bruno Fernandes.
Fernandes has been totemic at United playing behind the striker, returning an incredible goal record for the club since arriving from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020.
The Portuguese playmaker has scored 40 times and notched 26 assists in his 80 United appearances, proving a catalyst for a change in fortunes under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
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However, in stark contrast to Pogba, Fernandes' struggles have come on the international stage as he has failed to replicate his club form for Portugal.
The 26-year-old is a fiery, relentless player but has been accused of a lack of urgency and interest in the opening Euro 2020 games with fatigue after a long season perhaps affecting his play.
Fernandes was uncharacteristically poor as Portugal imploded in the 4-2 defeat to Germany in the 'group of death'.
But the responsibility for getting the best out of two midfielders with world-class ability lies with Solskjaer as United plan a Premier League title challenge next season.
United fear Pogba could run down his contract at Old Trafford next year, but his impact on the pitch could be crucial in what could be his final season in Manchester.
Pogba has impressed for United in this calendar year from the left-wing position in a 4-2-3-1 formation, but Solskjaer has never settled on a role for the Frenchman he is happy with.
Bruno Fernandes is yet to replicate his United form with Portugal
(Image: HUGO DELGADO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
He was moved to a restricted defensive midfield role in the Europa League final defeat to Villarreal in Gdansk, where he was outperformed by partner Scott McTominay.
For France, he has thrived with more freedom in a 4-3-3 formation on the right with two central midfielders in N'Golo Kante and Adrien Rabiot.
Solskjaer is not going to risk changing Fernandes' position to accommodate Pogba, despite an underwhelming Euros so far for the Portuguese.
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So his solution could come by showing more ambition in his approach.
The Norwegian could amend his vigilant 4-2-3-1 system to a more fluid 4-3-3 structure that Pogba is enjoying with France, allowing the pair to both occupy advanced positions.
Pogba operates best when not restrained by responsibility and a potent midfield partnership with Fernandes is tantalising.
But the inevitable concern will be around the defensive vulnerability that playing two attack-minded midfielders would leave.
Solskjaer could change system to get the best out of Pogba and Fernandes
(Image: Manchester United via Getty Imag)
United's defence have long been protected by the safety blanket of two sitting midfielders but having one player in the position would evolve Solskjaer's attacking style.
That player could already at the club, with McTominay impressing for periods last campaign.
But Solskjaer could enter the transfer market with West Ham's Declan Rice and Brighton's Yves Bissouma both enticing options.
Fernandes and Pogba would still require diligence to ensure defensive shape, but United can become a frightening attacking opposition with the duo dictating play behind a front three next season.