There has been much debate over how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can fit Fernandes and Pogba into the same midfield since the Portuguese arrived from Sporting in January.
The United boss appeared to have solved that riddle in the latter stages of last season as the Red Devils went on an impressive run with both men in the team, finishing third in the Premier League.
However, after a sluggish start to the new campaign, questions have arisen again and Murphy feels they are players with too similar mindsets to succeed, with both too focussed on attack.
‘Initially, I said when Fernandes came in it was going to be a problem, and I still think it is a problem,’ Murphy told talkSPORT.
‘Pogba and Fernandes in the same team makes them too offensive. Against a better opposition, you’ll get found out. They’re both brilliant technicians and creative footballers.
‘Their defensive mindset is reactive, not proactive. They don’t spot danger. They react afterwards. They see it and think, “I better get back”. It’s not natural for them.
‘I’m not talking about top four, I’m talking about getting back to competing for the title by having five offensive match winners in the team – I just don’t think you can do it unless they change their defenders.
‘They’re not going to challenge for the title while playing those two in midfield.’
Murphy feels that one must make way and new signing Donny van de Beek will offer the perfect remedy to the problem as he combines defence and offence in a way that neither Pogba nor Fernandes can.
‘If you watch him, and I’ve watched him a lot, he is proactive with his defending,’ Murphy said of the Dutchman.
‘He is a box-to-box, super fit, all round midfielder who can do things defensively that those two [Fernandes and Pogba] don’t want to do.’
Man Utd take on Brighton for the second time in less than a week when they travel to the Amex on Wednesday night for a Carabao Cup fourth round clash.