Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is reportedly a doubt for the team’s clash with AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.
Pogba was also a doubt for Monday’s showdown with Arsenal in the Premier League, although the Frenchman played the full 90 minutes. According to Rob Dawson of ESPN FC, during that match the 26-year-old aggravated an ankle issue.
“Pogba complained of pain in his ankle following the 1-1 stalemate at Old Trafford on Monday night and is set to be assessed by medical staff on Tuesday before Solskjaer finalises his squad for the trip to the Netherlands. Sources have told ESPN FC that Pogba may be saved for the Premier League meeting with Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Sunday.”
After picking up the ankle issue against Southampton on August 31, Pogba sat out the next three matches for United. According to Dawson, Pogba “played through the pain” in the Carabao Cup success against Rochdale—United advanced on penalties after a 1-1 draw—and the most recent clash with Arsenal.
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In both of the recent matches, Pogba hasn’t performed to his best, with the dynamism and ingenuity that he’s renowned for absent.
While there is still disagreement when it comes to Pogba and what he can offer, United don’t have another player capable of offering what he does.
Although Scott McTominay has enjoyed a strong start to the season, he lacks the creative spark that the Frenchman has at his best.
When afforded freedom, Pogba can break a game open with a lung-busting run and an incisive pass. In addition, he’s capable of scoring goals from distance and making surges into the penalty area to cause problems for opposition defences. What he lacks is consistency. There are spells in matches where Pogba ambles through the game and he is susceptible to giving the ball away cheaply in dangerous areas.
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