Manchester United hosted rivals, Liverpool, on Sunday afternoon in what turned out to be one of the Premier League’s most memorable matches in recent history.
The match, which ended 5-0 to the visitors, now sees manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with his back against the wall and facing an uphill climb if he is to convince the club’s fans that he is the right man to remain in charge.
Sunday’s match not only saw Liverpool smash five past goalkeeper David De Gea, but midfielder Paul Pogba was also substituted on and quickly sent packing following a poorly timed tackle on Naby Keita.
Although the Frenchman was not expected to turn the Red Devils’ woeful performance around single-handedly, his introduction was expected to limit Liverpool’s damage.
However, after coming on and being shown red after clearly feeling frustrated, Pogba’s afternoon resulted in the midfielder letting his entire team, as well as Solskjaer, down.
Not only is Pogba’s latest showing a major cause for concern, but speculation surrounding his long-term future will also now be amplified.
With the 2018 World Cup winner’s contract set to expire next summer and with no renewal yet agreed, fans will certainly be wondering where the playmaker will end up this time next summer.
One person who feels that if Pogba were to depart Old Trafford next summer, the club would not suffer, is former midfielder Paul Scholes, who while speaking to Premier League productions (as quoted by Goal), said: “Paul Pogba coming on to the pitch at half-time to try to help the team and maybe get a little respectability tries to stand on the ball, tries to show how strong he is in the middle of the pitch… gives the goal away.
“Then, later on, gets sent off with a ridiculous tackle, now you’re 5-0 down with 10 men. You’d have to think if Ole’s still a manager there, will we see Pogba again in a United shirt?
“He’s caused mayhem over the last couple of years. Everyone knows what a talent he is, everybody trusts him, every manager trusts him, tried to give him his head and let him be the player he’s been.
“But with all the commotion, not signing his contract, almost holding the club to ransom, and then he comes on and does something like that. It’s not Ole’s fault, don’t get me wrong, but that’s part of it that almost summed the United performance up today.
“Look, he probably will play [again] won’t he? But I don’t think they will be missing anything if he doesn’t. He’s had numerous chances, he keeps saying he lacks consistency, but that is just [a lack of] discipline and disrespect for your manager and your teammates, what he’s done today.”
Although Pogba’s future is still undecided, he has been heavily linked with a move back to Juventus – the club he left to rejoin United back in 2016.
CaughtOffside understands that despite reports linking teammate Donny van de Beek with a move to Turin, the Serie A giants are prioritising signing Pogba.
Since rejoining United five years ago, Pogba has gone on to feature in 218 matches, in all competitions, directly contributing to 87 goals, along the way.