Paul Pogba Injury Could Be Blessing for Donny van de Beek

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is set to face ‘a few weeks’ out after suffering a thigh injury in United’s dramatic 3-3 draw against Everton at the weekend.

The 27-year old was forced off during the first half after pulling-up, clutching his thigh after making a pass.

Now set to miss important games including Tuesday’s Emirates FA Cup fifth-round meeting with West Ham United and the Europa League ties against Real Sociedad, the midfielder is set to spend more times on the sidelines.

Paul Pogba Sidelined for a Few Weeks With Injury

Manchester United Midfielder Injured in Draw Against Everton

His manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed the extent of the injury to the club’s channel MUTV, saying: “It’s an injury that will take a few weeks to heal.

“He’s just started his recovery, working with the medical staff and we’ll get him back soon and as safely as we can.

“Of course, Paul has been very important for us, and we’re not going to take any risks. (So it is) a few weeks definitely.

“You never want to be injured and, especially, now Paul was really finding his form and enjoying his football. For us, we just have to take as many points and wins as possible, when you lose players.”

Paul Pogba Injury Halts Great Form in New Role

The French World Cup winner has been in terrific form since returning from injury and re-establishing himself into the team. Pogba has had to fill in a variety of roles to be included into Solskjaer’s plans, including starting games on the left-wing against Liverpool or on the right to help accommodate Fred and Scott McTominay’s shield of defence.

However, his best displays have all come in his new-found role in a more defensive position, which saw him score winners against Fulham and Burnley in United’s pursuit to the top of the table.

In his new defensive role, Pogba has started to dictate more games and cause more influence on games, which has led to three goals and two assists in all competitions. His effect on the club since his return has been influential, with the Red Devils winning nine games out of 19 with him in the side, including six draws.

His influence has not only been in attacking circumstances, with Pogba relishing in his new defensive role, but his efficiency has also led to United becoming more dominant in the middle of the park. His tackle success (77%), his interceptions (18), clearances (27), duels won (121) and aerial battles won (38) have all improved exponentially from last season.

Pogba leads ahead of club captain Harry Maguire and defender Victor Lindelof in terms of tackles and is only behind his centre-backs in terms of aerial battles won. Under Solskjaer’s new system for him, Pogba seems more assured and is in talks to renew his contract according to reports despite regular speculation linking him with a move away from the club.

Donny van de Beek’s Chance to Impress as Pogba’s Successor

Donny van de Beek made the move from Ajax to Old Trafford in the summer which linked him as the successor to Paul Pogba at the club. With Pogba not moving away (Real Madrid being his targeted destination) the Dutch midfielder’s time at his new club has not gotten off to the best of starts.

The 23-year-old has started in two Premier League games this season with the other ten coming as substitutes. But with Pogba now injured, will we see if Van De Beek is ready to replace the French midfielder?

Most of the Dutchman’s starts under Solskjaer have come in the cup competitions, in which he is yet to score, but he is set to become more involved in the coming weeks.

Despite being different players, the 23-year-old could be a more prudent option for United as they look to chase Manchester City to the Premier League title. It could also lead to Solskjaer changing formations as Van De Beek is less suited to the defensive position Pogba is currently playing in.

A return to the double midfield pivot may allow both Van De Beek and Bruno Fernandes to occupy places in more attacking positions.

Van De Beek scored his sole Premier League goal for the club in matchday two in the defeat against Crystal Palace but with more regular game time coming, especially with the European competitions restarting, the rotation could allow him to prove his worth.

 

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