Sunday 22 September 2019

'United boy' Pogba here to stay, insists Solskjaer

Caretaker manager takes advantage of feel-good factor with second victory in two matches

Pogba appears to be enjoying life under Solskjaer. Photo: Getty
Pogba appears to be enjoying life under Solskjaer. Photo: Getty

Mark Critchley

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Paul Pogba "loves" playing for Manchester United, describing the midfielder as a "United boy through and through".

Pogba scored twice in United's 3-1 victory over Huddersfield Town yesterday, adding to Nemanja Matic's first-half opener.

The 25-year-old is one of several players already looking rejuvenated by the change of manager following Jose Mourinho's departure last week.

Mourinho's relationship with Pogba had become strained and led to speculation that United's record signing could leave the club at the end of the season, but that is now looking increasingly unlikely.

Pogba appears to be enjoying life under Solskjaer, though, and the United caretaker manager was delighted to see his player celebrating with a smile on his face.

"That's the Paul I know," he said. "That's the Paul I've known since he was in the reserves and youth team.

"He's always been a happy boy, he's always had a big smile on his face. When you score two, you're happy and, when you play football for Man United, you should be happy.

"Of course, it's a responsibility but it's an honour and a privilege and Paul loves playing for this club. He's Man United through and through."

Solskjaer added that he had spoken with Pogba on a one-to-one basis since taking the job last week - just as he has done with all his players. The Norwegian said that no player should be defined by their price tag, despite Pogba coming under additional scrutiny for his £89.3m transfer fee. "I don't think the amount of money that's spent should bother anyone. Football nowadays is crazy, isn't it?" Solskjaer said.

"I don't think the amount of money is their fault. The price the club pays doesn't bother me and it shouldn't bother them."

He also revealed that Alexis Sanchez has an outside chance of being fit to face Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Sunday. Sanchez, who been sidelined for the past month with a hamstring tear, is so eager to return to action that he trained on Christmas Day despite being given the day off.

"We had a day off on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but he was in training. He's a workaholic, it seems."

Solskjaer felt it was a "humbling" experience to be in charge at Old Trafford for the first time. "It's special hearing the crowd singing my song. It used to be when I scored, but now they did it when the game began. It's humbling but it makes you really proud," he said. (© Independent News Service).

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