Alarming Paul Pogba record should give Manchester United an obvious decision to make – Richard Fay

Just when Manchester United fans thought their season couldn’t get any worse, it did. A sad defeat at home to Liverpool was followed by a brief illusion of recovery before Man City crushed the masquerade with a comfortable victory last weekend to crash them to the ground again.

The pressure has never been so intense on Ole Gunnar Solskjær, but when he flew to Norway at the beginning of the week to get a much-needed break, he once again received a host of blows.

Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford, two of the key players during his reign at Old Trafford, both withdrew from the England set-up due to fitness issues, while Paul Pogba would give another blow with a thigh injury during training for France.

The early indication is that Pogba, 28, will be out for as many as eight-to-10 weeks after his latest setback, it only highlights further the elephant in the room, which is his future at the club.

Pogba could not play for United again this year, and with his contract expiring at the end of the season, there is now even a suggestion that he could potentially have played his last game for the club, even if it depends on identifying a buyer. to him in the club. January window.

United were hoping that the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo could convince the French international to commit his future to the club with a new contract, although their recent decline has not done much to build on the convincing declaration of intent made with their summer additions.

The 28-year-old would be free to negotiate a pre-contract deal with overseas clubs in the January transfer window, unless he agrees a new deal with United before then, but a new salary benchmark has been set with the arrival of Ronaldo, who is on £ 480,000 compared to his £ 295,000 a week.

To keep the former Juventus midfielder at the club, it seems very likely that United will have to increase his current earnings significantly to keep him in line with the top earner, although right now it is hard to say that he justifies such support .

Pogba started the new season in fantastic style with seven assists in his first four appearances, but since then the form for both him and the club has gradually declined, and the Frenchman is no longer a guaranteed starter under Solskjær.



Paul Pogba limps out of France’s training session before retiring from the squad

Another unpleasant truth was highlighted on Monday when Pogba suffered his latest injury setback, in no way a personal criticism of the player, but instead a warning sign regarding long-term investment in an inconsistent player with a long injury list.

Since joining United five years ago, Pogba has missed 71 games without illness or injury with a combined 304-day break in 13 separate setbacks.

These unfortunate figures will only be added with the recent injury, which has left him on crutches at the start of the international break and has again confused his future plans at the club.

There is no denying the tremendous quality that Pogba can bring to the United side when he is fit and fired, but with his contract expiring at the end of the season, he still represents something of a luxury that they may not be able to afford .

It is clear to see why United do not want to lose anyone so special on a free transfer, but with the cost of keeping him so high and such an unflattering injury record, Solskjær can soon come to an obvious decision.

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