“Paul Pogba had his first day of training with the whole group yesterday and, in the first training session, he showed what kind of extraordinary player he could be,” – Ralf Rangnick said on January 18.
“He will not be available for the two games this week but hopefully after the international break, when we have the Cup game against Middlesbrough and the away game at Burnley, I think he could be an option.”
“But what you could see from the very first day in training yesterday is that he’s present. He’s physically present, he’s mentally present.
“What I saw in training yesterday was very promising for the future and I’m very much looking forward to having him available in two weeks’ time after the international break, and I think he will be a serious candidate for the first XI.”
The four-time Serie A winner has been out of action since November with a leg injury that he picked up on international duty with France. However, he shared a training picture on Instagram today, showing his 51.4 million followers that he is well on schedule to make a return.
Can He Turn The Tide Under Rangnick?
With just four months left on his present contract at Old Trafford, Pogba would be desperate to put up his best performance in every match for two possible reasons – attracting interest from some of the top clubs across Europe in case he decides to move in summer, or bagging a bumper contract with humongous wages at United (if he chooses to stay).
In either case, the situation would work in favour of the Red Devils. Manchester United have often failed to dominate the midfield proceedings in recent matches irrespective of the quality of the opposition – losing out on duels, giving away possession cheaply, lack of communication with the forwards – but all of this could change with Pogba’s return.
A couple of days ago, The Sun reported that Ralf Rangnick has won over the playmaker by making him a vital part of the club’s future plans. The German coach has informed Pogba that the team, especially the midfield, would be built around him in the forthcoming seasons.
Hence, it will be interesting to see how he adapts to Rangnick’s high-press style of football. If he starts delivering on the pitch, the bumper contract renewal might as well be worth it.