I've never had a problem with Paul Pogba, insists Solskjær

Jamie Jackson
·2-min read

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has pointed to his strong relationship with Paul Pogba in the wake of the midfielder’s recent impressive form.

Pogba capped an eye-catching display with a memorable late winner in Manchester United’s 2-1 victory at Fulham on Wednesday having done the same against Burnley the previous week.

The Frenchman’s future at United was placed in doubt last month when Mino Raiola, his agent, claimed Pogba should leave in January. Yet Solskjær continued to select the 27-year-old and has been rewarded.

“My job is to be open and honest with him. I’ve never had a problem with him,” the Manchester United manager said. “I talk openly and directly with Paul. I’m not going to tell anyone what my advice to him is but I have always had a good relationship with him. He comes from a great family, he’s a very sensible boy and he knows what I’m talking about when we speak.

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“He’s up front and honest with me too. And what people don’t see with Paul is even when he isn’t playing, he’s contributed loads in the background. Sometimes he’s even acted as the interpreter between me and different players – even when he isn’t playing. He always respects my decisions and we’ve always had a very good working relationship.”

Solskjær cited Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani as having the desired winning mentality he looks for in all of his players.

“That’s part of my thinking when you bring players in,” the Norwegian said. “You don’t just bring big talents in, you try to do a test of character or do research as much as you can to have the right types. Because there are always players who think: ‘There’s a game next week and I’ll still get my wages.’”

Donny van de Beek was one of Solskjær’s summer signings yet his game-time has been limited. Solskjær confirmed the midfielder will be involved in Sunday’s FA Cup fourth round tie against Liverpool at Old Trafford.

“I wouldn’t say that Donny is happy, of course he wants to play more,” said the 47-year-old. “When we have players who are playing really well in his position it’s not like we just want to give him games for the sake of it. He might be the deciding factor in this game. He is a quietly confident guy who deep down knows he is good enough.”