'Pogba is the best all-round midfielder in the world' – Solskjaer hails returning Man Utd talisman

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has welcomed the return of Paul Pogba, a player he describes as the “best all-round midfielder in the world”.

Pogba made his long-awaited comeback from an ankle injury by coming on as a substitute in the second half of a 2-0 defeat at Watford on Sunday and is expected to start when Newcastle visit Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

It was the France World Cup-winner’s first United appearance since September and Solskjaer is looking forward to fitting Pogba into his side, even if he remains unsure as to his best position.

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When asked if Pogba will be included in his line up against Newcastle, the United manager told a press conference: “Let’s see how he reacts, how he feels. He did really well when he came on, a big plus.

“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, the whole midfield. He’s a box-to-box midfielder. He can drop deep, play them long passes, get higher up and combine, [play] one-twos – him and Anthony [Martial] and Marcus [Rashford] creating chances down that side – so it depends on the game.

“That’s the beauty of having Paul: he is the best all-round midfielder in the world, he can do all roles, but if I play him low, he should’ve played high, and if I play him high, he should’ve played low.

“It’s always going to be that discussion with him. But it’s great to have him back.”

Solskjaer’s men head into Christmas in eighth place in the Premier League, seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

The Norwegian boss will hope that Pogba can add dynamism to a United midfield that has largely underwhelmed over the first half of the season. 

The Frenchman has only appeared in six top-flight matches this term, and has yet to open his goalscoring account.

Pogba continues to be linked with a move to Real Madrid ahead of the January transfer window, with Santiago Bernabeu boss Zinedine Zidane thought to be a keen admirer of a fellow countryman.

However, Solskjaer has already ruled out the possibility of a prized asset leaving the club when the market reopens, as the Red Devils aim to secure a return to the Champions League come May.

After United’s clash with Newcastle, they will turn their attention to an away fixture against Burnley on December 28, before wrapping up their festive period with a trip to Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal on New Year’s Day.

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