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Can Paul Pogba play a deeper role in Manchester United’s midfield?

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has put in many good performances under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since he has been at the club. During the opening 20 matches under the Norwegian, Pogba has played 18 times, scoring nine goals, seven assists and five Man of the Match performances.

Recently though, Pogba has not been hitting those high standards that he did hit in the early days of Solskjaer. United’s performances have gone from scoring goals galore, scoring 24 goals in the nine matches played until the end of January, to now scoring just 18 goals in the 11 matches played since. Is it something to worry about?

It is safe to say that Solskjaer has made his squad overachieve during his short time at the club and over the next three years, he will be certain to set up his own brand of football, building his own team in the time he is the manager at the club, starting in. the summer transfer window. I just hope that Ed Woodward and United’s board back him.

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After the 2-1 victory over Watford at Old Trafford on Saturday, Solskjaer spoke to the media about the performance and Pogba’s was one of those being discussed. It was safe to say that he was not the best player on the pitch but he was far from the worst either. Solskjaer, though, suggested a change of position could benefit him, saying:

“Paul [Pogba] is important to us. We couldn’t keep the ball today and, as I’ve said it was probably 50-50 possession and, at home, we’re a bit disappointed with that.

“But Paul has been away and he’s played two games for France. Of course, he’s playing a bit deeper for them and that might be something we have to think about to get him more involved in the game, make him dictate games more for us.

“That’s from game to game. As you can see, Paul can do both. He can attack and defend.”

It is clear that Pogba is a talented player. This season at United, in the Premier League alone, he has had his hand in 20 goals, scoring 11 and assisting nine more. This is also a player who has been criticised since arriving back at the club for his inability to score goals, strengthen the midfield, even criticism suggesting that other players were better.

When he plays for France, Pogba plays a much deeper midfield role, playing alongside N’Golo Kante. Solskjaer has noticed this, and the fact he plays better for France than he does at United, which may lead to him changing his position in the team. However, playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation might hold a few problems for United.

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Pogba would have to play in a two-man midfield, alongside Nemanja Matic or Ander Herrera, for the time being at least. This has been tried before under Jose Mourinho and it didn’t work as Pogba has played a free role at United, moving further forward, rather than in the centre of midfield. A 4-3-3 formation with Pogba on the left suits him more.

Whilst confidence has lifted under Solskjaer, it remains to be seen as to whether this could work, especially at this stage of the season. Matic has been getting slower as time passes, which might open United’s midfield for more domination. However, with the summer transfer window nearing, Solskjaer could have a plan to unlock Pogba.

I think that Solskjaer knows that he has to find the way his team will play and it is early days for him right now. He will have many different plans and I am sure as the weeks pass, there will be more of a clue. Solskjaer did suggest that Pogba could be the captain of the club, which many thought was going to be implemented quickly, however it wasn’t.

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