Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has suggested he was too hasty in starting Paul Pogba after the midfielder recovered from coronavirus.
Pogba, 27, tested positive for COVID-19 in August and did not start training until nine days before United’s first game in the Premier League against Crystal Palace on September 19.
Solskjaer stuck with Pogba in the following league games against Brighton and Tottenham but his performances got worse. As a result, he was dropped for last week’s victories at Newcastle and PSG.
The Frenchman came on from the bench yesterday against Chelsea but was unable to make a significant difference in order to help his teammates seal a win.
“When you’ve got good players it’s a nice challenge and a decision to make when you’ve got good players on the bench that can come on and impact the game,” Solskjaer said after the goalless draw with Chelsea (via Manchester Evening News). “I think Paul, all three games this week, he’s really come on and made a very positive impact.
“He’s been out for a while with coronavirus this summer, so he’s getting better and better and maybe more his shape. Maybe I was unfair to him starting him that early in the first few games but he’s coming on and he’s done great when he’s come on.”
Pogba could return to the United XI on Wednesday night for the Champions League visit of RB Leipzig.
The manager is also understand pressure to give games to new signing Donny van de Beek. The Dutchman, 23, is the only United midfielder yet to start in the league or Europe this term and Solskjaer is being asked about it at every press briefing.
Van de Beek made his debut in United’s league opener versus Palace and he won the corner that led to the added time penalty against Brighton.
On top of that, the former Ajax boy played a key role in Bruno Fernandes’ winner against Newcastle.