Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Paul Pogba is “ready and without problems” ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Sevilla in the Champions League last 16.
The Frenchman was hooked off during defeats to Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United and missed last weekend’s 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town with an illness.
Reports claimed soon after that the club was hopeful of Pogba recovering in time for the trip to Spain having trained on Sunday.
And Mourinho, speaking at a press conference ahead of the first leg, made it clear that the 24-year-old was fit and ready to go.
“I opened the training session today in the period we don’t normally open,” he said. “We normally do the warm up and the first simple drills and this time we did it for quite a long time in the last period so we could see the players in a competitive situation.”
“And when a player is in that type of situation it is because the players are normally ready and without problems. So you could see that in training some people that didn’t play with problems like Pogba, Valencia, Rashford, Herrera, so I think in an objective way you could look at it.”
A lot has been said about Pogba since he trundled off during the second half at St James’ Park. Perhaps more than any other footballer on the planet, such is the midfielder’s magnetism.
Moments like these, when the spotlight is firmly under you as a player, tend to separate the good from the brilliant. Pogba has a chance to dominate proceedings in Seville like he did away to Celta Vigo in May, sending an emphatic middle finger to those making money off slating his performances and lifestyle whilst putting United in touching distance of the quarter-finals.
The talking stops tomorrow. And Pogba, perhaps more than ever, needs to lay down a statement of his own.