Jose Mourinho has admitted that Manchester United were not the same team without the injured Paul Pogba throughout September and October.
The Frenchman has missed 12 games since picking up a hamstring injury against FC Basel and Man United’s performances, especially over the last month, have dwindled as a result.
But the 54-year-old confirmed at a press conference on Friday that Pogba, along with Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, would return to the squad for Saturday’s clash with Newcastle.
And Mourinho, speaking on the subject of Pogba, noted that United are a totally different outfit with the Frenchman back.
Mourinho on @paulpogba "Clearly you can see there was a Man Utd this season before + after his injury. He has qualities that influence our approach in matches."
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) November 17, 2017
A ball hasn’t even been kicked but the mood amongst supporters and around the club in general has already changed utterly with Mourinho’s confirmation that Pogba, following weeks of ambiguity, was now ready to unleash himself on the Premier League once again.
The tempo and fluidity, coupled with an unquestionable feeling of control over games, has disappeared in recent times and the 24-year-old’s return to action could not have arrived at a better time.
And you can be sure that Romelu Lukaku and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who have both suffered from a lack of creative linkage in recent times, will be the main beneficiaries of Pogba’s presence on the pitch.
To assert that United ought to be playing with the same drive and invention whilst deprived of their most talented player is nothing short of absurd. This was always going to be a sticky patch but United have come through it well, winning all four of their Champions League group games and remaining second in the Premier League table.
But now, after an eternity of waiting, United’s season can now resume in earnest with their creative nucleus restored to the squad.