Solskjaer must ask Paul Pogba to leave if he 'dreams' to play for Zinedine Zidane, says former Arsenal star
What's the story?
Former Arsenal centre-forward, Perry Groves, insists that Manchester United's talismanic midfielder, Paul Pogba, should be sold in the summer if he wishes to play for his compatriot Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.
The 53-year-old believes that deciding the future of the French playmaker will be an arduous task for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was appointed as the Red Devils' boss permanently, recently.
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Since the Norwegian tactician took the Old Trafford job as a caretaker manager following the sacking of former boss Jose Mourinho in December, Paul Pogba has been alive and kicking, scoring goals, setting up his teammates; being the heart of Solskjaer's attacking squad.
The 26-year-old World Cup winner was linked with a move away from the Old Trafford amidst a broken relationship with former boss Jose Mourinho. However, the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer not only overturned the fortunes of the Red Devils but also breathed life in Pogba's natural attacking gameplay - something that was being missed during the helm of Jose Mourinho.
Since Solskjaer took over the Old Trafford dugout, the Frenchman has scored eight goals and set up another seven in the 18 appearances he has made so far. However, with the return of Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, there have been speculations surrounding the future of the former Juventus star at Old Trafford, as he openly admitted his desires to play for his childhood idol, Zinedine Zidane. Reports in Spain suggest that the Los Blancos hierarchy have already contacted the playmaker's agent, Mino Raiola, with a view of signing him in the approaching summer.
The heart of the matter...
Speaking on the current situation at the Old Trafford, former Arsenal star, Perry Groves said:
There’s one thing Solskjaer has got to do, now he’s the big boys’ manager and not the supply teacher where you’re everybody’s mate and everybody has been happy... He’s got a big decision to make with Paul Pogba. Two weeks ago on international duty, he actually said that he’s ‘always dreamed’ of playing for Real Madrid and has ‘already dreamed’ of playing for Zinedine Zidane. A Manchester United player should not be touting themselves out to one of their man rivals.
So if Solskjaer has got anything about him, he should pull him in at the end season and say: ‘I need a statement from you that you are fully committed to Manchester United. I don’t want to hear anything from your agent or your brothers about wanting to play for Real Madrid, because if you do you can go. I’m not going to stand in your way. For £125million we can get two other top players, it’s not a problem’.
Solskjaer has said he wants his team playing with togetherness, work-rate and attitude – he wants them to be the hardest working in the league and the fittest. Pogba has got better since Solskjaer has been there but I’ve watched him in games and, for the talent he has, he doesn’t grab the game by the scruff of the neck, he doesn’t dominate everybody around him and he doesn’t put that work rate in week after week, game after game.
So if Solskjaer has got anything about him, he should send a message out to anybody else at Manchester United and say: ‘If you want to leave this club, it’s not a problem, you can go. I won’t stand in your way’. The days of Solskjaer being everybody’s friend, of smiling, laughing and joking, they’ve gone.
In a bid to secure the top-four spot in the Premier League table, the Red Devils will take on the Wolves in the midweek before hosting the Spanish giants, FC Barcelona, in the Champions League.