BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson believes that the imminent return of Paul Pogba will not necessarily be a good thing for Manchester United – arguing the Frenchman is more likely to leave the club than improve their fortunes.
Pogba has been nursing an ankle problem since the end of September and was thought to be in line for a return to action against Spurs at Old Trafford tonight, only to be ruled out by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer yesterday.
However, in his midweek Premier League predictions for BBC Sport, Lawrenson not only backed Jose Mourinho to enjoy his Old Trafford return, but suggested Pogba already has his mind on his next move.
He said: “Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford, almost 12 months after he was sacked, is going to be fascinating.
“I am actually going to go for a Spurs win.
“United’s £89m midfielder Paul Pogba is close to returning from his ankle injury, but I don’t think he is going to come back and be their saviour – he is more likely to come back and want to clear off.
“The way the team is playing doesn’t reflect the ability of the players within it, which is a big problem for United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to sort out.”
It seems the problems are mounting for Manchester United, with the club in danger of battling through the festive period in mid-table as their results continue to falter following a lacklustre start to the campaign.
Pogba’s lack of input this season can hardly have helped matters, though Lawrenson may be correct in his belief that the Frenchman could struggle to affect things – even if he remained committed to the team in the long run.
That is because the 26-year-old has lacked any kind of consistency over the last year or so, with his brace of penalties against West Ham United in April his only scoring contributions for the club since mid-February – while a couple of assists on the opening day are all he has mustered so far in the current campaign.
Therefore, it may be a surprise to see him become central to any revival having only recently got closer to playing contention – and backs up Lawrenson’s concerns over his long-term United future.
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