Paul Pogba is feeling “great” again at Manchester United, with the World Cup winner admitting to having missed football “so much” during a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Injury problems threatened to undermine the 27-year-old’s efforts in 2019-20 as he struggled to shake off a troublesome ankle problem.
When football entered a state of lockdown in mid-March, Pogba had been restricted to just eight appearances across all competitions.
He had also seen January signing Bruno Fernandes slot seamlessly into the fold and take on the role of midfield talisman.
An enforced break has, however, worked in the Frenchman’s favour, with Pogba now back to full health and working on nailing down a role in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s engine room.
He is relieved to be taking on that challenge and to have the “trust” of those around him after spending so long out of action and finding himself the subject of incessant transfer talk.
“Just being back training, touching the ball and doing what I love is amazing; I missed it so much,” Pogba told United Review.
“You realise when you’re out for a long time how much you really enjoy playing football and how much you love it. So obviously I’m really, really happy and so blessed to be back and be fully fit now, and I’m enjoying being back with the team.
“I feel great, I feel much, much better now. I’ve been training well and they [the club] have been looking after me very well.
“I’ve been doing some extra work and treatment on my ankle and the rest of my body. And my team-mates as well, they’ve helped me to come back and feel confident. It’s like I never left, the guys still trust in me and always believe in me and that’s helped me a lot as well.”
Pogba has returned to a side that had started to rediscover form in his absence, with United now 16 games unbeaten, and he believes the future is bright for a resurgent outfit.
“You can tell that the team is improving a lot,” he continued.
“We play more as a team than we did before, we enjoy it even more, we defend together, we attack together, and this team is stronger as well.
“The players who are on the bench or who don’t play every time, when they come on they help the team so the mentality is good and is right. All this together has put us where we are today.”
United, who remain in the FA Cup and Europa League, have forced their way back into contention for a top-four finish and will close to within a point of fourth-placed Leicester if they can overcome relegation-threatened Aston Villa on Thursday.