Solskjaer explains how alternate Pogba role ‘changes Man Utd’s dynamic’

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has shown he’s not afraid to change up his tactics or shift through alternating systems at Man Utd.

The Red Devils have enjoyed some improved form in recent weeks utilising a variation on a 4-2-3-1 with Bruno Fernandes thriving in the hole behind the striker.

Paul Pogba looked back to his best as one of the deep-lying midfielders against Sheffield United, pulling the strings while Fernandes and co. wreaked havoc in front of him.

The Frenchman was dropped to the bench for the clash with Leicester at the King Power on Saturday, but was introduced before the hour on the left wing.

It was the second time Pogba has taken up the position in recent weeks, having flattered to deceive against Man City.

Paul Pogba came on as a second-half sub on the left wing against Leicester
Paul Pogba came on as a second-half sub on the left wing against Leicester

Donny van de Beek has also been utilised in the role when first choice Marcus Rashford has been rested, despite both he and Pogba being more accomplished through the centre.

But Solskjaer may have cleared up any confusion as to why both players have been used in the more unfamiliar berth, and perhaps explained further reasoning for United signing Alex Telles.

While Telles has not played in either match when Pogba adopted the position, his attacking prowess is arguably more tailored for the support role supplied in both games by Luke Shaw.

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As Solskjaer explained in a press conference on Monday: “Luke is one of those lads with strength and power and quality, and of course down the left-hand side he’s created a good relationship with Marcus.

“Against Leicester, Paul came in on the left and I think that changed the dynamic a little bit and that pushed Luke on more and he had to go more then because if you don’t have a wide man in front of you then it’s the full-back’s responsibility.”

What is Pogba’s best position? Have your say below.

Luke Shaw has been urged to get further forward when Rashford is not playing
Luke Shaw has been urged to get further forward when Rashford is not playing

Given Telles’ tendency for a lung-busting overlap, that could be a link-up we see more often between now and the end of the season.

Though Solskjaer is keen for Shaw to develop that side of his game, too.

“I think he grasps that now,” the United boss added. “Sometimes he’s got to stay back more and sometimes he’s the one that goes.

“I’ve enjoyed working with Luke for a couple of seasons now and he’s a very talented boy that I still want to push on.”

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