Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must unleash Paul Pogba against Manchester City in a pivotal clash in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
Pep Guardiola’s side will go above the Red Devils if they win at Old Trafford, which is precisely why Solskjaer must put his faith in the Frenchman, irrespective of Mino Raiola’s latest outburst.
As soon as he came off the bench against RB Leipzig, the stage was set for Pogba to make an impact.
Pogba played a big part as he stepped onto the pitch as a second-half substitute for the eighth time this season, this time replacing Nemanja Matic in the midfield in the Champions League clash against the Bundesliga challengers.
He made an impact almost immediately as United tried to fight back from 3-nil down, with his header cannoning off Harry Maguire into the back of the net to put his side within touching distance of the knockout stages.
His efforts were ultimately in vain, as United were unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League, thanks to goals from on-loan Manchester City full-back Angelino, Amadou Haidara and Justin Kluivert.
Speaking in the post-match press conference, he said: “You have to ask Paul if he is happy or not. I’m not going to speak for him. Paul is focused on doing his best for the team and when he’s here he’s working hard in training just needs to focus on his performances.”
Defeat is not an option for Solskjaer, who also finds himself facing questions about his own future at the club.
Whilst his strained relationship with Pogba and his representatives is well-documented, the club legend cannot allow personal grievances to cloud his judgement.
Beating their arch-rivals would be a big step in the right direction and may go some way towards getting the Red Devils back on track.
Despite his off-pitch issues at Old Trafford, it’s fair to say that Pogba has been one of the club’s best players in recent weeks, with one goal in his past two games in all competitions.
His former boss Jose Mourinho once heaped praise on his “monster” heroics after the 2-1 win over Leicester City in 2018 before things took a turn for the worse.
Valued at £72m via Transfermarkt, the French World Cup winner has scored 34 goals and supplied 35 assists in all competitions, including two goals and an assist against the Citizens. Therefore, he surely deserves the chance to play in what could turn out to be a season-defining game for both manager and player in the Premier League.