Jose Mourinho vehemently denied that Paul Pogba‘s struggles on the field for Manchester United are not related to a hamstring injury he suffered early in the Premier League season.
When asked if the Frenchman could still be feeling the effects of the injury that kept him out most of September and all of October, the Red Devils boss was stern in his response.
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“It’s nothing to do with his injury,” Mourinho said during his pre-match press conference ahead of Manchester United’s match on Saturday against Swansea City. “His recovery was good. He is very fine after the injury. It was a difficult injury, it was an injury that other players, other clubs, other medical assessments – they end in surgery, his option with the medical opinions was not to go to the surgery table and his recovery was really good. He is more than fine in relation to his recovery from the injury which is an area sometimes where you have a recurrence. In his case, not at all.”
The explanation makes sense given that Pogba looked strong in his appearance for the French national team over the international break, scoring a goal and assisting another in a 3-1 victory over Russia that saw the 25-year-old score a goal and assist another. He looked stronger in that match than he has for Manchester United in months, calling Mourinho’s use of the midfielder into question.
When asked about Pogba’s sudden increase in performance while away from Old Trafford, Mourinho snapped back, “I don’t comment on my players’ performances in national teams.”
With N'Golo Kante behind him and Adrien Rabiot by his side, Pogba was allowed more freedom to create as he supported the French attack of Ousmane Dembele, Anthony Martial, and Kylian Mbappe. Pogba assisted Mbappe’s opener in the 40th minute with a perfectly threaded through-ball, and then scored his own off a free-kick with a low bender just over the wall.