Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reserved high praise for his returning midfielder Paul Pogba. The World Cup-winning star (Pogba) on Sunday played his first match since September with an ankle injury keeping him out for a lengthy spell.
While the team lost 2-0 to bottom-ranked Watford, Pogba drew praise from pundits and commentators for his passing and vision after being subbed in during the 64th minute of the match.
Asked whether the 26-year-old will be starting in United’s next match against Newcastle United on Thursday, Solskjaer said in a press conference that it depends upon how he feels and reacts.
“He did really well when he came on, a big plus. It might be that we do get him in from the start because you just want to get more and more into the team when he plays,” he said.
“He can play anywhere, he can play the whole midfield, he is a box-to-box midfielder. He can drop deep, get it and play them long passes. He can get higher up and combine like he did on Sunday.
“It depends on the game. That’s the beauty of having Paul because he is the best all-round midfielder in the world, he can do all the roles. It’s great to have him back,” added the United boss, who confirmed that Pogba will not be leaving in the January transfer window despite links with Real Madrid.
Solskjaer further admitted that Man Utd’s progress had been slower than expected but said he was focused on developing a team that could dominate and break sides down.
“It’s taken Liverpool a few years to get to that stage and we need to keep on building because that’s what we want to get to,” he said.
“Yes, we’re good at counter-attacking. Yes, we’ve got pace and fast players. We should always keep that because that’s in our tradition. Now we need to be better at breaking lower blocks.
United remain stuck at eighth on the league table after their disappointing performance against Watford on Sunday. The team looked devoid of attacking impetus until Pogba’s arrival.