Paul Pogba has not featured in a game for Manchester United since the 1-1 draw against Arsenal at Old Trafford on 30 September.
The Frenchman aggravated an ankle injury in which he has since been sidelined from, but is now on the road to recovery after having his cast removed.
With the international break now upon us, Pogba has two further weeks to recover without missing any more games for the Reds. Hopefully we will get to see him return for United’s crucial games against Tottenham and Manchester City in the space of just three days in early December.
But the key question fans will be debating is where Pogba will play when he does finally return from his long-term layoff.
Fred’s emergence in form has given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a selection dilemma and Brazilian is now beginning to look a different player after an extended run in the side.
The Reds have won four out of the last five games Fred has started alongside Scott McTominay in a 4-2-3-1 formation and an unlikely partnership has formed between the pair.
Fred looks revitalised alongside McTominay; he is now positive in possession and far less wasteful than he was earlier on in the season – notably in the defeat away to Newcastle when his confidence appeared shot.
But winning breeds confidence and there now seems to be an understanding between Fred and McTominay of who should sit and who should go forward when there is potential for an attack.
Ahead of McTominay and Fred in Solskjaer’s preferred midfield at the moment is Andreas Pereira. The youngster had a much improved performance against Brighton on Sunday, his goal albeit fortuitous.
Pereira has been backed by Solskjaer to make the number 10 role his own this season but there has to be concerns over his end product. But despite calls by many fans to drop the youngster for the more talented and proven Juan Mata, the United manager has persisted with his academy graduate.
However, while Pereira shows moments of quality within games, he is too often let down in his attempts to create chances for United’s front three. The 23-year-old has just one goal and one assist in 10 Premier League appearances so far this season.
It appears Solskjaer has maintained his faith in Pereira more for his work on the ball than off it.
The Reds have been working on a high pressing game all season and Pereira is central in the number 10 role with his relentless enthusiasm and energy.
While United’s midfield has been functioning without him in recent weeks, Pogba is a player of star quality and is a certainty to return to the starting team.
Pogba’s attacking attributes have often been wasted in a United shirt and the partnership of McTominay and Fred gives Solskjaer the perfect opportunity to get the best out of the Frenchman.
Solskjaer should start Pogba in the number 10 position; he is still comfortably the most creative player in United’s squad and has the ability to get the best out of the front three of Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
He may not offer the same pressing intent as Pereira but he makes up for it in his quality in the final third which he can change games with.
McTominay’s injury will be of huge concern to Solskjaer, and it remains unclear whether Pogba will be fit to return before the Scottish international.
If McTominay is ruled out for an extended period, Pogba may slot in at central midfield alongside Fred and Pereira would retain his place, but Pogba is the most able number 10 United have got and it would be criminal not to try the World Cup winner in behind Martial when United are at full strength.