Paul Pogba was Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United marquee signing and eventually the relationship between the two men reached breaking point.
The Frenchman has outlasted his former manager at Old Trafford and now interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must improve the morale and form of the World Cup winner.
Solskjaer worked with Pogba during his time as reserves manager, which could give him an edge in that regard, and some comments from August provide a very interesting insight into his potential plans…
Pogba at the fulcrum of the side
Speaking on the eve of the season about Pogba, Solskjaer told Sky Sports: “I would [build the team around him], absolutely no doubt.
“Paul is a fantastic kid so hopefully we can build the team around him and keep him.”
There is a growing school of thought that United would be better off without Pogba as well, but Solskjaer’s comments make it clear just how much he thinks of the World Cup winner.
He not only wants to keep him in the team, but build it around him; so perhaps he has a tactical dilemma regarding how best to do that.
How to get the best out of Pogba
It was thought that Pogba’s best position was on the left hand side of the central midfield trio in a 4-3-3 that allows him to break forward.
But he won the World Cup as part of a two-man midfield axis alongside N’Golo Kante, albeit with Blaise Matuidi shuttling up and down the left.
He could well play as a number 10 or even from the left, but Solskjaer will be doing his utmost to liberate him; and perhaps he has some tricks up his sleeve from their days together in the reserves.
One thing is for sure, Manchester United’s new manager is a very big fan indeed of Paul Pogba.