Premier League

Solskjaer admits he has been 'unfair' to Pogba

The Manchester United manager has been impressed with how the midfielder has coped with being left out of the team

12:15pm on Sunday 25th October 2020
By
Chris Myson

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer concedes he may have been "unfair" to Paul Pogba after the Manchester United midfielder struggled in the early stages of this season.

Pogba has been named on the substitutes' bench for United's matches against Newcastle United, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea over the past week.

The World Cup winner assisted Marcus Rashford's winning goal against PSG in the Champions League and looked lively in his 32-minute appearance in the 0-0 Premier League draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Pogba had a disrupted pre-season after recovering from coronavirus and Solskjaer acknowledges he may have put him into the starting line-up too soon.

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The 27-year-old, who has repeatedly been linked with Real Madrid, produced ineffective displays as United struggled against Crystal Palace, Brighton and Tottenham but now appears to be working his way back into favour.

"I think Paul, in all three games this week, has come on and made a very positive impact," said Solskjaer.

"He is getting better and better, and more and more in shape. He is coming along and he has done great when he has come on.

"Of course he has been out for a while with the coronavirus this summer. Maybe I was unfair on him by starting him that early in the first few games."

27 yrs - DM, M (C) - Man Utd
77
Defending
Creative
Passing
Attacking
Shooting
Decisive
Aerials
Physical
JavaScript chart by amChartsLDefendingCreativePassingAttackingShootingDecisiveAerialsPhysical10-10-5051015100%
275
Played matches
5
0
0
Won matches
2
Man of the match
0
Successful passing %
79%
AVG Rating
6.2

Solskjaer's recent team selections have raised some eyebrows, with Fred and Scott McTominay starting all three matches in midfield.

Not only has that left Pogba on the bench, but Donny van de Beek – a £40m summer signing from Ajax – is yet to start a league game this season and remained on the bench throughout the Chelsea draw.

Solskjaer added: "Don't worry about [Van de Beek]. He will get his games, don't worry about that. It's easy to say who should be playing and more difficult to say who shouldn't.

"You see, when you have got good players, it is a nice challenge and a nice decision to make when you have got players on the bench that can come on to impact the game.

"Scott and Fred have done really well this week, giving us a foothold in the games. They are a great combination together and we felt after PSG this week that we needed energy in there with them.

"Last time after PSG, we struggled big time and we lost to Arsenal. [This time] we have got a point on the board against a good team and we were probably the team who had the biggest chances to win it."

Next up for United is Wednesday's home Champions League clash with RB Leipzig and a league match against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday.

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