Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has told Paul Pogba that he is more likely to play at the No.8 position under his charge, despite knowing the midfielder can also play at the No.10.
Rangnick arrives at this decision due to his football philosophy, something Pogba hasn’t played in since the German boss’s arrival last year.
The France star is in contention to start against Middlesbrough on Friday in the FA Cup fourth round. That would be his first appearance since his dire performance against Atalanta in the Champions League in November.
The likes of Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struggled to fit the former Juventus midfielder into the team, which led to the midfielder’s lack of consistency.
Mourinho regularly played the World Cup winner as a defensive midfielder while Solskjaer played him in different roles, and went as far as to play him on the left wing, where he scored a notable crucial goal against AC Milan in the Europa League round of 16 in March last year.
Ralf Rangnick says the midfielder can play in several central midfield positions but suggests because of his playing pattern, the 28-year-old is likely to play at the No.8 role, a position Bruno Fernandes has impressed at since his signing in 2020.
“I see his [Paul Pogba] best possible position as one of central midfield positions, as either an eight or a No.10. But the way we’re currently playing, I’d rather see him in the eight position, but we’ll have to see,” said Ralf Rangnick.
Paul Pogba will become a free agent at the end of the season if he fails to agree to a new contract with Manchester United.
Rangnick believes the midfielder has to perform at the highest possible level if he desires to remain at Old Trafford beyond this year.
The German boss believes Pogba is like a new signing to him, as the midfielder is yet to make his first display under his charge, and says the France star has a fresh chance to show everyone how good he can be.
“It’s up to him [Pogba] now his contract is expiring in the summer and if, in the end, he would like to stay or go somewhere else he has to show up,” said Rangnick.
“It’s not only in the interest of us as a club, but it’s in his [Pogba] personal interest that he plays and performs at the highest possible level.
“Let’s wait and see. I’ll be excited myself to see how Paul [Pogba] is doing and, like all the other players, for me he is now a new player.
“He [Pogba] can show me, the team, the fans and everyone in England how good he is and at what high level he can play.”
Rangnick confirms that he and the Manchester United board haven’t talked about Paul Pogba’s contract and other players, whose contracts will expire at the end of the season, just as they didn’t discuss any new signing.
“We haven’t spoken about that [Pogba’s future] at all so far, not only about Paul’s situation but also other players with contracts expiring in the summer, we also didn’t speak about new players so far,” Rangnick said.