‘Is it an assist if he plays a square pass and Bruno hits it in the top corner?’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismisses Paul Pogba’s incredible assist record this term as ‘just a social media thing’ and says it’s FLATTERING on him
- Paul Pogba has been in superb form this term and already has seven assists
- The Frenchman has already got more assists than in three of his past seasons
- However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has surprisingly played down his record this term
- The United boss suggested his seven assists so far have been flattering on him
- He also dismissed assists and goal involvements as a ‘social media thing’
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made light of Paul Pogba’s incredible assist record this season by claiming it’s flattering on him and is ‘just a social media thing’.
The Manchester United midfielder has notably been a standout performer for Solskjaer’s side in the early part of this season and has played a key role in helping them ascend to the top of the Premier League table after four games.
Pogba has flourished in a more attacking role in midfield and has provided the main creative spark for Untied, laying on seven of their 11 goals so far in the league.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has played down one aspect of Paul Pogba’s great start to the season
The United boss claimed Pogba’s assists record so far this season is flattering, saying: ‘He’s not got assists from his best passes this season’
He has already surpassed his total number of assists in three of his previous campaigns at Old Trafford, but Solskjaer has surprisingly played down his record, virtually labelling it insignificant.
The United boss even suggested that he wouldn’t have counted some of Pogba’s assists this season when discussing his wonderful start to the season.
‘What does an assist consist of? A square pass and Bruno hits the top corner or when Paul plays a great pass through and Mason runs through?’ Solskjaer said at a press conference on Tuesday ahead of their Champions League clash with Young Boys.
‘Paul has always been a great passer, one of the best in European football, and he’s not got assists from his best passes this season. I don’t pay attention to assists, it’s a social media thing.
The midfielder has been the main creative hub for United so far this season, with seven assists
But Solskjaer suggested he wouldn’t count an assist if Pogba plays a square pass and Bruno Fernandes hits it in the top corner
‘I would give Anthony Martial an assist for Jesse Lingard’s goal, when he leaves the ball, like [Dwight] Yorke and [Andy] Cole.
‘But Paul has played well for sure. He has come back in good shape. He’s worked really hard over the summer. He’s come back lean and fit.’
Pogba’s assist record at Manchester United
Games: 4, Assists: 7
Games: 26, Assists: 5
Games: 16, Assists: 4
Games: 35, Assists: 9
Games: 27, Assists: 10
Games: 30, Assists: 4
*Premier League only
The 28-year-old has been criticised in the past for his inconsistency but has so far been involved in goals in three of United’s four matches and shown what a vital player he is to the side.
Pogba’s long-term future at the club remains up in the air, with his contract expiring in less than 12 months and no agreement in place over an extension.
There are genuine fears Pogba, who United spent £89million to get back from Juventus five years ago, could once again depart the club on a free transfer.
However, The Athletic claim United’s 4-1 victory over Newcastle on Saturday has had a significant bearing on the World Cup winner’s thinking about his future and that he is having serious second thoughts about leaving, particularly now that Cristiano Ronaldo is back at Old Trafford.
The report says Ronaldo’s return has had a huge impact on Pogba and it is now felt that him staying beyond his current deal is a realistic outcome.
Ronaldo marked his second debut for United with a brace in the win and Solskjaer admitted his arrival has given ‘everyone a lift’.
‘Cristiano gets everyone so focused when he’s in and around the place, he puts demands on himself, which then will put demands on his team-mates and it puts demands on us,’ the Norwegian boss said.
‘That’s why he’s done so much in his career. He’s been so disciplined.
‘We knew he’s evolved, he’s developed as a player, he’s a different type of player now compared to what he was when he left, but he’s still a ruthless and clinical goalscorer.
‘He smells the big moments, he senses when there’s a goal in it.’
Pogba is reportedly considering staying at United because of Cristiano Ronaldo’s impact