Excited Paul Pogba sends message ahead of Manchester United return
Last month Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said he could offer no guarantees over the future of Paul Pogba.
The one aspect Rangnick was clear on, was that he expected Pogba to be totally committed and give his all for the club between now and the end of the season.
Pogba is now fit enough and preparing to make his first appearance since United’s 2-2 draw away at Atalanta in early November, three months ago.
Rangnick said: “He committed himself until the end of the season. He explained to me that he wants to be the best possible Paul Pogba that he can be.”
The Frenchman seems to be following Rangnick’s lead by expressing excitement for his comeback match. This is not a player simply going through the motions, it seems he is genuinely looking forward to making his return.
Pogba is expected to start for Manchester United on Friday night against Middlesbrough.
In a new interview with United’s website, Rangnick added: “I think he’s definitely ready for tomorrow and, since Fred only came back yesterday with jet-lag, as he played for Brazil, for me, it is quite logical to let Paul play.
“I will be excited myself to see how Paul is doing and, like all the other players, for me, he is now a new player.
“He can show me and the team and the fans and everybody in England how good and at what kind of level he can play. We shall wait and see what he can deliver.”
Can United keep Pogba’s attention?
Pogba is excited to return, as you can imagine after three months out. But he was also excited for the start of the season too, providing four assists in a sensational 5-1 home win over Leeds.
United could not keep up the good form and nor could Pogba. The injury came at a time when his form was poor and he was also serving a suspension for a red card.
Right now Pogba is returning for a last throw of the dice at United, a stretch in which he hopes he can inspire a FA Cup run and a Champions League run. Ending the season with a piece of silverware would be the dream way for him to bow out, or even to convince him to stay.
Getting to that point won’t be straightforward. Pogba has to stay fit and play well, and United need to stay competitive.
There are two paths; (a) United reach a cup final or remain locked in a fight for the top four and Pogba is all in between now and May, or (b) United exit the Champions League in the last 16 and bow out the cup early, and Pogba’s interest begins to wane.
Right now when the rewards are somewhat tangible, Pogba will push himself as much as he can. But if the top targets become unrealistic, the season could develop into a long, unhappy farewell tour for the Frenchman as he begins to move his focus away from United and onto his next club.
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