Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Paul Pogba will stay at the club despite persistent rumours linking him with a move to Real Madrid.
The World Cup winning France international has supposedly been unhappy at Old Trafford and his performances have come in for some criticism, but his coach views him as a vital part of his rebuilding project.
Pogba has played every game of a disappointing start to the season for United, including Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton, which saw 10-man Saints hold on for a point when Jan Vestegaard equalised following Daniel James’ early strike.
Pogba was seen limping after the game at St. Mary’s but Solskjaer doesn’t believe the injury is serious.
“Paul Pogba will be playing for us,” the Norwegian coach said after the game, before being asked if he was happy with the situation, “I’ve just said that.
“He twisted his ankle, I think, but he’ll go away on international duty now and hopefully it’s not too bad and he can play for France because I know how much he loves his country and playing for them.”
Pogba has been a lightning rod for criticism at United as they’ve gained just five points in their first four Premier League games.
Pogba wasted a golden chance to secure three points against Wolves two games ago when he missed a penalty. They lost to Crystal Palace in their next game, undoing the positivity that came from an opening 4-0 win over Chelsea.
He gave the ball away 20 times in Saturday’s draw with a team the Red Devils were expected to beat.
His manager believes that too much blame is attached to Pogba and said the whole team had been guilty of sloppiness and highlighted the Frenchman’s role as United searched for the winning goal.
“I think we as a team after about half an hour started giving sloppy balls away and Paul was one of them. He wasn't any different to anyone else,” he added.
“I think we as a team didn't play well but of course in the last 20 minutes, half an hour he did create loads for us going forward.
“Everyone expects everything from him every game. He has to defend, he has to attack, he has to win headers, he has to win tackles, he has to dribble past people, he has to make passes. That's just Paul and he'll thrive on that.”