Paul Scholes attributes Paul Pogba’s absence as reason for Manchester United downturn in form

by Harry Robinson

Paul Scholes believes Manchester United’s recent struggles, if they can be called such, are down to a lack of quality in the number 10 role.

That issue will be fixed by the return of French midfielder Paul Pogba, who has been out of action since mid-September with a muscle injury sustained in a 3-0 Champions League win against FC Basel.

While Man United remain second in the Premier League and currently top Group A in the UEFA Champions League, and have progressed to the EFL Cup quarter-final, the quality of football on show in recent weeks hasn’t been as good as in the first six weeks of the season.

In that period, United scored four on six occasions, including four 4-0 victories in the Premier League.

“United don’t have a good enough number 10 at the moment,” Scholes said on BT Sport.

“Pogba will make a difference to that. He will look for Lukaku.

“When Pogba comes back he will make a difference to the way they play football. He’s the man who links the team together.”

United have certainly missed Pogba, who was in excellent form before his injury as he was captaining the side at Old Trafford.

The Frenchman was central to everything United were doing, and looked at his best since he joined the club for a then-world record fee of £89m.

Lukaku’s form hasn’t entirely depended on Pogba, because it’s only recently that the Belgian has hit a minor goal drought. However, he was certainly playing better and getting more chances with the 24-year-old behind him, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan also benefitted from Pogba’s presence.

He’ll be welcomed back by United coaches and supporters, but the timeline for Pogba’s return is not yet known. Some suggested he’d be back for the middle of October, but that has been and gone while he won’t be available for Sunday’s clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Hopefully, he’ll return after the November international break which follows that away game against the Premier League champions.

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