Soccer

‘I don’t pay attention to assists’ – Solskjaer satisfied with Pogba performances regardless of record stats



The France international has enjoyed a record-breaking start to the new campaign but his coach would rather draw attention to his overall performance

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has claimed that he is uninterested in how many assists Paul Pogba has delivered for Manchester United this season, stating that he already considers the midfielder “a great passer” regardless of his achievements.

The France international has enjoyed a record breaking start to the new campaign. He has seven assists in four games and is already a third off the record for the Premier League season of 20 held by Kevin De Bruyne or Thierry Henry.

Solskjaer is focusing on the midfielder’s performance and has downplayed the numbers ahead of his side’s return in Champions League action this term.

What has been said?

“Paul has come back in good shape,” the Norwegian told a pre-match press briefing ahead of his side’s trip to Young Boys. “He’s worked really hard over the summer. He’s come back lean and fit.

“What does an assist consist of? A square pass to Bruno [Fernandes] and he puts it in the top corner? Or a great ball for Mason [Greenwood]?

“Paul has always been a great passer and he’s not got assists from his best passes this season. I don’t pay attention to assists, it’s a social media thing. But Paul has played well for sure.”

Pogba poised to fulfil potential?

Ever since returning to Old Trafford from Juventus under the Jose Mourinho reign, Pogba has arguably failed to live up to the billing his then-€105 million (£89m/$124m) price tag suggested.

Although he won the 2018 World Cup with France in a five-year period in the Premier League, media speculation has often positioned him for a quick exit, headed by Mino Raiola.

Yet his record-breaking start to the campaign suggests he has found his groove, even as his contract runs down – and with the return of another former Red Devils star in Cristiano Ronaldo, he may have found a new reason to stay in the hunt for long-awaited silverware.

The bigger picture

Having fallen short at the final hurdle in last year’s Europa League final, Pogba and United will hope to go a step further and claim success in the Champions League this term.

As the Red Devils try to continue the momentum gained from their start to the campaign and their recruitment, the Frenchman will be hoping to translate his form to the continental stage.

The two sides will meet in the third round of the Carabao Cup, where they will clash with West Ham and David Moyes, who were both his former boss.

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