Paul Pogba’s latest test may give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a solution to a long-term problem
Manchester United star Paul Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can still convince him that his future lies at Old Trafford.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has long sought a solution to his problem in midfield with Paul Pogba.
The France international is simply too talented to be left out, but his position is embarrassing for the Manchester United manager.
On several occasions, when deployed in a midfield duo, Pogba neglects his defensive duties and the Red Devils are often crushed in the engine department.
It also wastes the former Juventus star’s talent and he can do more damage higher up the pitch.
Solskjaer found a temporary solution by putting Pogba on the left side, where he bonded well with Bruno Fernandes as he had a good start to the season for United and collected seven assists in seven Premier League appearances.
However, Pogba’s long-term position could indeed be in a midfield pivot with a more defensive player.
Indeed, for France, it worked wonders when he teamed up with N’Golo Kanté and it helped the Blues to win the World Cup in 2018.
But against Belgium on Thursday night in the semi-finals of the Nations League, Pogba was deprived of his friend from Chelsea and played alongside Adrien Rabiot.
The Juventus star has brilliant talent but doesn’t come close to Kante’s level of tenacity and it was clear that this would be a test for the United midfielder.
In a match between the top two national teams, Belgium took a 2-0 lead at half-time and Didier Deschamps could be seen worrying on the sidelines.
However, the world champions brought him down to 2-2 after Karim Benzema struck before Kylian Mbappe scored from the penalty spot after Antoine Griezmann suffered a foul in the box.
AFP via Getty Images)
Pogba has shown all the old signs – great for the future and another day could have scored two goals – but when France is under pressure there was little urgency to come back and help.
There is no doubt that Solskjaer would have been watching to keep an eye on the 28-year-old, especially to potentially gain knowledge on how he can fix his own Pogba issues.
How should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deploy Paul Pogba? Comments below
Aurélien Tchouameni was hired for Rabiot 15 minutes from time and had an instant impact and despite his young age of 21, seems to have mastered his positional role.
The Monaco man has been linked with a move to United in the past and, based on evidence from tonight, could be a potential fix for Solskjaer if he is to keep Pogba and let him play like he does for the France.
Theo Hernandez was the unlikely hero after scoring the winner for France in the 90th minute, bringing them to the final where they face Spain.