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‘Pogba return like world-class signing for Man Utd’ – Solskjaer wants midfielder back ‘as soon as possible’

13:43 GMT+3 29/11/2019
Paul Pogba Manchester United 2019
The France international has been sidelined with an ankle problem since September and his manager is looking forward to welcoming him back

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the return of Paul Pogba from injury will feel like “a new world-class signing” for Manchester United, with the Frenchman stepping up his recovery from an ankle injury.

The World Cup winner has been out of action since September and questions have been asked of his future during an enforced spell on the sidelines, with transfer talk building again ahead of the January window.

Solskjaer, though, has offered no indication that he is planning to part with Pogba and, instead, the United manager is looking forward to welcoming a mercurial talent back into his plans, with it hoped that the 26-year-old will soon be ready to rejoin the Red Devils fold.

The Norwegian told reporters when asked for an update on Pogba after Thursday's 2-1 defeat at Astana in the Europa League: “Paul is stepping up his recovery and let’s see how soon he’ll be match fit and available.

“Of course, he’ll be like a new signing for us. He’s not really been able to play for us and, when we get him back, it’ll be like a new world-class signing and world-class midfielder.

“We want him back as soon as possible. Sunday? No. I can’t say now as I’ve not been home and seen him. Let’s see where he’s at when he comes back and he starts training with us.”

United are set to play host to Aston Villa on Sunday, before then taking in a reunion with Jose Mourinho when Tottenham visit Old Trafford and a trip to the Etihad Stadium for a derby date with City.

Pogba’s return could offer a timely boost to the Red Devils’ efforts, with Solskjaer aware of the Frenchman’s potential to be a talismanic presence.

He added: “Every player is allowed to be injured when he’s injured and Paul is working hard to get back.

“Nobody can doubt his professionalism, his willingness or desire to play football. He’s a footballer and one of the best midfielders in the world. It will be like a new signing of a player before the window opens.

“Of course, we have missed him when he’s been away but some of the players, Scotty and Fred, have taken up that challenge and done well. Of course, it’s a boost for us when he comes back though.”

While no timescale is being put on Pogba’s recovery, Solskjaer is looking to have Scott McTominay back in contention for a midfield berth at some stage in the near future.

He said of the Scotland international, who picked up a knock against Brighton on November 10: “We hope Scotty will be back as soon as possible, but he’s also been back home and I’ve not seen him.

“Maybe [he will be fit to face] Spurs but hopefully for Sunday.”