Solskjaer: Pogba ‘best all-round midfielder in the world’

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sure seems glad that Paul Pogba is back fit for Manchester United.

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The French midfielder has been out since September with an ankle issue but came on as a second half sub in the 2-0 defeat at Watford and made a big difference, even though United lost to the bottom club.

Speaking ahead of their Boxing Day clash against Newcastle United (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) Solskjaer revealed their is no better all-round midfielder in the world than Pogba.

“It might be that we do get him in from the start because you just want to get more and more into the team when he plays. He can play anywhere, he can play the whole midfield, he is a box-to-box midfielder. He can drop deep, get it and play them long passes. He can get higher up and combine like he did on Sunday. It depends on the game. That’s the beauty of having Paul because he is the best all-round midfielder in the world, he can do all the roles. It’s great to have him back.”

Solskjaer added that Pogba may not be fit enough to start against Newcastle but that his 30 minute cameo against Watford was a ‘big plus’ for the Red Devils.

With United struggling to break down the teams in the bottom half of the table this season (their five defeats have come against Bournemouth, Watford, Newcastle, Crystal Palace and West Ham), Pogba’s creativity in the final third will certainly help them unlock stubborn opposition defenses. But will he be able to fit into the counter-attacking style which has worked so well against the big six and has kept United within seven points off the top four?

The noises from Pogba’s camp in recent days suggest he wants to stay at Man United after he spent last summer trying to force through a move away from Old Trafford, and this buttering up of Pogba from Solskjaer was predictable.

United will need him against the lesser teams in the Premier League but he shouldn’t be a guaranteed starter when they play against some of the big boys. United need two more defensive-minded central midfielders against those clubs and Pogba playing as a No.10 doesn’t seem to work as well as when Jesse Lingard, Dan James and Marcus Rashford interchange in those three positions.