Ole Gunner Solskjaer defended his Frenchman after his pitiful performance in United defeat to Wolves amid renewal of his stay at the club.
Manchester United Frenchman Paul Pogba was woeful again in their Premier League defeat vs Wolves at Molineux amid renewed speculation over his future at the club but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defended him at Molineux.
Since Pogba revealed it was a ‘dream’ to play under compatriot Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid two weeks ago, the Frenchman has delivered dismal displays in United’s weekend win over Watford and 2-1 Premier League reverse by Wolves. Zidane effectively began Madrid’s pursuit of Pogba last week by suggesting it was possible the pair could collaborate at the Bernabeu and Solskjaer admitted he had spoken to Pogba about his flirtatious comments.
Pogba is understood to have preferred a move to Spain in 2016 until his agent Mino Raiola advised he re-sign for United, on the proviso that he spend three years in Manchester before joining Real or Barcelona. Pogba had a destabilising impact at United throughout last year amid clashes with former manager Jose Mourinho but Solskjaer’s arrival heralded arguably the form of his career between December and February.
In a lecture at Portugal on Tuesday, Mourinho regaled the audience about an issue he had with a United player who wanted to leave a game in a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce. The player was described as ‘His Excellency’ and many have assumed Mourinho was speaking about Pogba, whose recent outings have been comparable to some of the feckless performances he produced under Mourinho. Despite Pogba’s dip in form over the last month, Solskjaer stressed his work ethic is still the same.
Solskjaer said of Pogba,
“Sometimes today he could have easily had an assist, And it was great play with him and Romelu [Lukaku]. It’s figures and numbers, he is working as hard as any player in the team. Some days it just doesn’t come off.”
Solskjaer said earlier this year he intended on trialling McTominay in an attacking midfield role and the 22-year-old scored his maiden United goal at Molineux in his first start since the comeback at Paris Saint-Germain last month. Solskjaer suggested he would continue to make the most of McTominay’s versatility.
United’s boss added,
“Scott has never never let us down and today was another very, very fine performance by Scottie, So it won’t be hard to see him play for Man United for many, many games. He’s got such a great mentality, he is so athletic, he can play in different positions. Today we feel that’s his best position as a high midfielder, but he can play defensive role like he did against PSG and Liverpool. So I was very very pleased with him
It was Scott McTominay’s first goal for United put them ahead with a low strike from outside the area whereas Pogba was so poor that he was replaced by Scott. United went down to fifth in the division and a win was crucial to keep their dream of Champions League qualification alive.