But after getting three starts under his belt in six days, Solskjaer is optimistic that a difficult season so far is now behind his star man.
Paul Pogba started three games in six days for France during the international break
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted it has been a ‘difficult season’ so far for the Frenchman
‘Paul’s had a difficult season last season,’ he said. ‘He’s had Covid now (earlier in the season).
‘I think those three games he played for France helps both us and Paul, and it helped France. He gets a rhythm, he gets his fitness.
‘I’ve spoken to Paul and he certainly felt towards the end of the Portugal game and definitely the end of Sweden game he felt stronger for it.
‘He played well, they qualified. I think he’s only going to improve.
‘Paul is, as I’ve said, a very important player and very important person for us.
‘To have him in form and happy is going to be vital for the run that we can hopefully put together now.’
Pogba admitted this week that playing for his country had been ‘a breath of fresh air’
Didier Deschamps hit out at Solskjaer and Pogba’s lack of playing time at United
The 27-year-old midfielder’s United future always seems to come under fresh scrutiny during his periods with the France national team, with their manager this time fuelling speculation.
Didier Deschamps said this week: ‘Just see what he was able to do in Portugal and what he did tonight.
‘I know him, I know how he works. He has pride and above all he has talent. When you have to defend, he can defend. When he has the opportunity to express himself, he is able to do so.
Pogba is a regular for France but has started just one of United’s last four league games
‘Paul is a top-level player and I hope what he did with us will be useful to him when he gets back to his club.’
Pogba himself has admitted that joining up with France had been ‘a breath of fresh air’ following difficulties at Old Trafford.
‘I had never known such a difficult period in my career,’ he told RTL France.
‘The France team is a breath of fresh air, the group is exceptional, it’s magic.’