Manchester United’s performance in the defeat to Watford on Sunday was unacceptable, but a positive Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can take is the welcome return of Paul Pogba.
The midfielder made his return from the substitutes bench after being ruled out with an ankle injury since late September..
In just over 25 second half minutes, Pogba was United’s best player of the afternoon and provided some of the creativity the midfield has been starved of.
Unfortunately, by the time Pogba had been brought on the damage had already been done with United two goals down shortly after half time.
But operating in a number 10 role in place of Jesse Lingard, Pogba’s brief cameo reminded us what he is capable of and some of what Solskjaer’s side has been missing in midfield.
Pogba’s quality on the ball is noticeably superior to his teammates in midfield, and he produced two stunning through balls for Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford who could not quite convert their opportunities.
While there is a lot of talk about Pogba’s future and whether he will be at Old Trafford next season, we should be relieved that the Frenchman is finally back in contention during this busy winter period.
We expect to see him start for the Reds on Boxing day at home to Newcastle, where he could play furthest forward in a midfield three including Fred and Scott McTominay
See his stats from his cameo against Watford below, courtesy of Statman Dave:
Paul Pogba’s game by numbers vs. Watford:
90% pass accuracy
2 passes into the box
2/2 shots on target
2 ball recoveries
2/2 long balls
1 through ball
1 key pass
Man Utd took 10 shots in the 26 minutes he played and 7 in the 64 he didn’t. 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/UWdnQkaHx6
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 22, 2019