English Premiership

Pogba hailed as 'best midfielder in the world' by Solskjaer

2019-12-24 14:42
Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba (PA/Supplied)

London - Paul Pogba has been hailed as the "best midfielder in the world" by Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the Frenchman returned from a long injury lay-off.

The World Cup winner was in action for United for the first time since late September as a substitute in their chastening 2-0 defeat at Watford on Sunday.

He could be in the starting team against Newcastle on Thursday as Solskjaer desperately seeks the creativity the team needs to break down stubborn opposition defences.

"Let's see how he reacts to this, how he feels," said Solskjaer. "He did really well when he came on. Big, big plus and it might be that we do get him in from the start."

Pogba, who had only played twice since the end of August due to an ankle injury, was introduced on Sunday with United already trailing by two goals and went close to scoring during a late attacking flurry from the visitors.

"He can play anywhere, he can play the whole midfield," said Solskjaer.

"He's a box-to-box midfielder. He can drop deep, get it, play long passes. He can get it higher up and combine like he did today."

"That's the beauty of having Paul, because he is the best all-round midfielder in the world," added the United boss, who has said the 26-year-old will not be leaving in the January transfer window despite links with Real Madrid.

Solskjaer said he was looking for a reaction from his players against Newcastle after United again failed to turn dominance of possession into a positive result at Watford.

"One of the good things about the team this year, we have reacted after bad results," he said.

"We haven't kept the consistency as we would have liked the other way but we've never gone on a big (bad) run like we did towards the end of last season so there will be a reaction, definitely."

United are struggling in eighth place in the Premier League, seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea despite recent morale-boosting wins against Tottenham and Manchester City.

Solskjaer admitted 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."

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Fixtures
Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Manchester City v West Ham United, Etihad Stadium 21:30
Saturday, 22 February 2020
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Stamford Bridge 14:30
Sheffield United v Brighton & Hove Albion, Bramall Lane 17:00
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United, Selhurst Park 17:00
Southampton v Aston Villa, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
Burnley v AFC Bournemouth, Turf Moor 17:00
Leicester City v Manchester City, King Power Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 23 February 2020
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Norwich City, Molineux Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Watford, Old Trafford 16:00
Arsenal v Everton, Emirates Stadium 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

And the 2019/20 English Premiership champions will be ... ?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.