Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has labelled Paul Pogba the “best all-round midfielder in the world” upon his return from injury.
Pogba was substituted on for United in the 64th minute of their disappointing 2-0 defeat to Watford on Sunday, making his first appearance since September due to ankle problems.
Asked whether Pogba will start against Newcastle on Boxing Day: “Let’s see how he reacts, how he feels. He did really well when he came on, a big plus.
“It might be that we do get him in from the start because you just want to get more and more into the team when he plays.
“He can play anywhere, he can play the whole midfield, he is a box-to-box midfielder. He can drop deep, get it and play them long passes. He can get higher up and combine like he did on Sunday.
“It depends on the game. That’s the beauty of having Paul because he is the best all-round midfielder in the world, he can do all the roles. It’s great to have him back”
Ole: We need to follow Liverpool example
United sit eighth in the table, with the fewest points (25) they have ever had at Christmas in the Premier League era, as hopes of a top-four finish continue to dwindle.
Solskjaer admits his team are not where he wants them to be, but it is confident they will make progress in a similar way bitter rivals Liverpool have in recent years.
He said: “We want to be a team that can go and dominate teams and break teams down. It’s taken Liverpool a few years to get to that stage and we need to just keep on building because that’s what we want to get to.
“Yes, we’re good at counter-attacking. Yes, we’ve got pace and fast players. We should always keep that because it’s in our tradition.
“We create loads of chances, but every time we lose it there’s a counter-attack. We need to lock it down more, better at stopping the counter-attack.
“That’s where this team is going to learn and grow and I’m sure we’ll see an improvement over this season and the next year.”