Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels Paul Pogba has the chance to enjoy a fresh start at Manchester United after impressing as a second-half substitute in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham.
Making his first appearance since December 26 due to a foot injury, Pogba was fouled by Eric Dier for the penalty that was converted by Bruno Fernandes to bring United level in the 81st minute.
The Frenchman demonstrated flashes of his ability during the cameo off the bench, while a potential midfield combination with January addition Fernandes showed early signs of promise.
Solskjaer praised the impact of his subs against Spurs but was particularly pleased for Pogba, who has made just five Premier League appearances in a 2019-20 season that has now resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"I think the performance second half deserved a point, or three points. The players that came on I thought made a difference," Solskjaer told Sky Sports.
"Of course Paul's contribution is there to be seen – he played the pass of the day when he played Marcus [Rashford] through, then had the skill of the day when he won the penalty.
"Paul's one of the best in the world and it's great to have him back. It's good to give him minutes and he will work hard to get even fitter for the next time, to play even more.
"He's delighted to be back on the pitch. He's had a nine or 10-month injury nightmare. It's not like he's been out for 10 months. He's almost come back, work hard, work hard, and then gets injured again.
"He was close to coming back before the lockdown and now finally he’s back playing. I'm sure everyone can see he has a great hunger for the game and is a very good footballer."
When asked if this is a fresh start for the World Cup winner at the club, the United boss replied: "I think so.
"Coming into this team, it's a different team to the one he left with his injury. Bruno has come in, the boys have got some momentum before the lockdown and we are more confident, even though for the first 45 minutes we doubted ourselves too much.
"The boys need to trust themselves more, trust their own fitness. They have worked so incredibly hard, and I think we saw second half that we were fit and can keep on running."
Fernandes has now been involved in six league goals since moving to Old Trafford, scoring three. Solskjaer admitted the key is to make sure both the Portuguese playmaker and Pogba can prosper in the same line-up.
"We are a club who want the best players in the world playing together," the Norwegian said on the duo.
"We just need to find the right balance, attacking and defending. That's always a key word when you're set a team up. I think today Paul showed he can play with Bruno, and Bruno has scored a penalty for us and got a goal."