A world cup winner before the start of the 2018/2019 season, French midfielder Paul Labile Pogba found himself on the fringes of the Manchester United team deep into December 2017 as his purported feud with manager Jose Mourinho got worse with each passing day.
A change of manager and several weeks later, Pogba is back to his perch as one of the best midfielders in the world.
The appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the United bench has reinvigorated the entire United squad — the team is currently on a 7 game winning run — but no player has been more transformed than Pogba.
The French midfielder has been unplayable under Solskjaer as United make a genuine attempt to get back into the top 4 and qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season. He has an impressive five goals and four assists in six games since Solskjaer took over and looks back to the form which saw United splash out a then world record £89m fee to pry him back from Juventus in 2016.
The drastic improvement in form could certainly be down to Pogba’s visible happiness since the change of coach. The feud between the player and his former manager clearly affected the player and the rest of the team, which led to numerous negative results against so-called smaller teams. At its height, things got so bad Pogba was stripped of the United vice-captaincy role and left out of a crucial match against historic rivals Liverpool at Anfield.
That game ended up being Mourinho’s last in charge, leading to Solskjaer’s appointment and the return of the ‘real’ Paul Pogba.
At the moment, it seems if United want to keep their multi-million pound player happy, they need to keep manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in his job. After his appointment, it was thought that Solskjaer would simply remain an interim manager but with the current run the team is on, reputable betting sites have continually increased his odds of staying on as permanent boss.
It’s never an easy task for a caretaker manager to take over a team and win the professionals over to his side to the extent they produce their best form in years under him. But Solskjaer, being a United legend himself, seems to have found the magic key and unlocked the mercurial Paul Pogba.
For the moment, Pogba’s smile is back, and so is his form.