Michael Owen claims that Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lacks the trust to play Paul Pogba in the team that “every fan” wants to see.
The French midfielder has, this season, enjoyed his best form in a United shirt since his return. In 24 Premier League appearances, he has contributed three crucial goals and supplied five assists. In fact, he has laid on four strikes in the past five games, while he scored the winner in the Europa League last-16 tie with AC Milan.
Meanwhile, he has also operated in a holding midfield role at times this season and while he is a midfielder by trade, he has also operated out wide.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of Pogba’s appearances this season have come from the centre of midfield.
Indeed, he has only started further behind four times and played out wide in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa.
As such, Owen claimed on Premier League Productions‘ coverage of the match that Solskjaer has an issue trusting the France international in a holding midfield role.
“I know every Manchester United fan around the world would agree: get Paul Pogba in alongside one sitting midfield player,” the pundit said.
“Then you can get an extra body going forward, the likes of [Edinson] Cavani and you can put [Bruno] Fernandes in behind with the two normal wide players.
“However, as it is, you have to put Cavani on the bench because you don’t trust Pogba in the middle as a sitting midfielder so you have to stick him out wide. It’s a conundrum.”
Fred and Scott McTominay have become Solskjaer‘s favoured midfield pairing and the duo featured at Villa Park.
Solskjaer lacks trust in Pogba
Owen added: “Whenever they play against a very good side, he goes back to basics. He goes back to thinking, ‘I need those two protective midfield players’.
“When he’s playing an average team at home, he’ll go and play all his stars. He lets the shackles off.
“But I don’t think he totally trusts Pogba in that role as a centre midfield player alongside one of them.”
Solskjaer has also utilised Nemanja Matic as a sitting midfielder this season.