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'I don't pay attention to assists' - Solskjaer satisfied with Pogba performances regardless of record stats

18:43 BST 13/09/2021
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Paul Pogba
The France international has enjoyed a record-breaking start to the new campaign but his coach would rather draw attention to his overall performance

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has claimed that he is uninterested in how many assists Paul Pogba has delivered for Manchester United this season, stating that he already considers the midfielder "a great passer" regardless of his achievements.

The France international has enjoyed a record-breaking start to the new campaign, nabbing seven assists in his first four games, and is already a third of the way to the all-time Premier League season record of 20 held by Kevin De Bruyne and Thierry Henry.

Yet ahead of his side's return to Champions League action for the first time this term on Tuesday, Solskjaer has played down the raw numbers, instead wishing to draw more focus to the midfielder's overall performances.

What has been said?

“Paul has come back in good shape," the Norwegian told a pre-match press briefing ahead of his side's trip to Young Boys. "He’s worked really hard over the summer. He’s come back lean and fit.

“What does an assist consist of? A square pass to Bruno [Fernandes] and he puts it in the top corner? Or a great ball for Mason [Greenwood]?

“Paul has always been a great passer and he’s not got assists from his best passes this season. I don’t pay attention to assists, it’s a social media thing. But Paul has played well for sure.”

Pogba poised to fulfil potential?

Ever since returning to Old Trafford from Juventus under the Jose Mourinho reign, Pogba has arguably failed to live up to the billing his then-€105 million (£89m/$124m) price tag suggested.

Despite winning the 2018 World Cup with France during a five-year period back in the Premier League, media speculation has frequently positioned him for a swift exit, led by agent Mino Raiola.

Yet his record-breaking start to the campaign suggests he has found his groove, even as his contract runs down - and with the return of another former Red Devils star in Cristiano Ronaldo, he may have found a new reason to stay in the hunt for long-awaited silverware.

The bigger picture

Having fallen short at the final hurdle in last year's Europa League final, Pogba and United will hope to go a step further and claim success in the Champions League this term.

The Frenchman will hope to translate his form across to the continental stage, as the Red Devils look to ride the wave of momentum their recruitment and start to the campaign has brought.

Back-to-back clashes with West Ham and former boss David Moyes follow, with the two sides meeting in both the league and the Carabao Cup third round.

Further reading