Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed Paul Pogba’s “personality and character” after naming him as Manchester United captain for the first time since March 2019.
With Harry Maguire suspended United needed a new captain against Granada and Pogba has been rewarded for his fine recent form with the armband for the first time in more than two years.
The midfielder has been in exceptional form of late, having looked like he was on his way out of Old Trafford after an explosive interview from his agent Mino Raiola made clear his displeasure with life at United.
“He’s an off the field leader as well, Paul is a big personality and character in the group,” Solskjaer told MUTV on the decision to make Pogba captain.
“But we’ve got loads of leaders, loads of them have worn the armband. Harry is the one normally but we have a group of very, very experienced players.”
Solskjaer has made five changes to the side that won 3-1 at Tottenham on Sunday, with David de Gea, Axel Tuanzebe, Alex Telles, Nemanja Matic and Mason Greenwood coming in.
Maguire, Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw drop out through suspension, with Dean Henderson and Marcus Rashford on the bench.
“It’s a knockout tie, we’ve got a healthy lead from the first game but you don’t take any chances,” Solskjaer said of the changes.
“We have some niggly injuries and soreness, Marcus was an easy one to leave out. The players are in form, they want to play and with the three enforce changes anyway we stuck with what we thought was a strong team.”
Despite the changes, Solskjaer wants to see his side reproduce some of the football they played against Tottenham on Sunday.
“Just turn up and recreate some of the football we played against Tottenham. We want to dominate possession, create chances and score goals,” he said.
“We need to be better as a team if we want to win this tournament and it’s another chance to build some momentum.”