Michael Owen claims Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn’t trust Paul Pogba in Man Utd conundrum

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Former Manchester United striker Michael Owen has questioned whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer truly trusts star midfielder Paul Pogba. The Frenchman was selected on the left wing against Aston Villa on Sunday, the 14th time he has been played out of his natural central midfield position.

Pogba has become a crucial player for Solskjaer this season and won the penalty that saw Bruno Fernandes equalise against Villa.

Despite his clear importance to the Red Devils though, Solskjaer instead opted to play Scott McTominay and Fred at the base of his midfield.

It is a tactic that the Norwegian has used regularly this campaign, with Pogba frequently appearing out wide.

While he has delivered five assists from the left wing so far this term, the Frenchman is more effective when played in central midfield, scoring five goals.

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Solskjaer has appeared to be reluctant to play him as a sitting midfielder however, especially in recent weeks.

In fact, in five of his last six appearances in the Premier League and Europa League, Pogba has been deployed on the wing.

It has been a successful move from Solskjaer, with the 28-year-old notching two assists in the top-flight as well as scoring against Roma.

But it is also a tactical decision that has left Owen feeling concerned that Solskjaer does not yet trust Pogba to be played as a sitting midfielder.

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The Premier League icon also believes that this is becoming a detriment to the Red Devils, with star striker Edinson Cavani routinely benched so that Pogba can be selected out wide.

“I know every Manchester United fan around the world would agree: get Paul Pogba in alongside one sitting midfield player,” Owen told Premier League Productions.

“Then you can get an extra body going forward, the likes of Cavani and you can put Fernandes in behind with the two normal wide players.

“However, as it is, you have to put Cavani on the bench because you don’t trust Pogba in the middle as a sitting midfielder so you have to stick him out wide. It’s a conundrum.”

Owen believes Solskjaer’s decision to move Pogba out wide comes down to his outlook for each game, with the Red Devils boss being more conservative against better teams.

“Whenever they play against a very good side, he goes back to basics. He goes back to thinking, ‘I need those two protective midfield players’,” Owen added.

“When he’s playing an average team at home, he’ll go and play all his stars. He lets the shackles off.

“But I don’t think he totally trusts Pogba in that role as a centre midfield player alongside one of them.”
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