Paul Pogba needs to be flexible: Ralf Rangnick
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba must learn to be flexible and play in the position the team demands of him, manager Ralf Rangnick said on Friday after the Frenchman complained he was unsure of his role at the Old Trafford club.
Pogba said in an interview he was not satisfied with his career at United, explaining that it was hard to find consistency when his position in the team was constantly changing compared to a well-defined role with the French national team.
“I heard he said he had played in different positions in the last couple of weeks,” Rangnick told reporters ahead of Saturday’s home game against Leicester City in the Premier League.
“Since the game against West Ham on January 22, we have lost three strikers — Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani, who is injured again and will be out for the next couple of weeks. With Bruno (Fernandes) or Scott McTominay missing, then of course somebody has to play a different role. He (Pogba) is a flexible player and can play (as a number) six, eight, and even 10. This is normal.”
Rangnick also touched upon defender Harry Maguire, who has been struggling for form at United, being booed by England fans during a friendly win over Ivory Coast at Wembley Stadium, describing it as ‘unusual’ but something that would not be repeated at Old Trafford.
“He knows my position towards him, he’s been a very valuable player for the team and the club, the captain,” Rangnick said.
“I didn’t understand what happened at Wembley, it won’t happen in our stadium with the Red Army behind the team and our captain. He’s been playing well for Manchester United and England in the last couple of years.
“I didn’t watch the (England) game but I heard what had happened after they announced the starting line-up. Difficult to understand... For it to happen in an international game is pretty unusual.”
Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has recovered from a hamstring injury that kept him out of England duty recently and could return for the clash against Watford, manager Juergen Klopp said.
Alexander-Arnold, who has been a vital player for Liverpool with two goals and 17 assists from 35 games in all competitions this season, pulled out of England’s friendlies with Switzerland and Ivory Coast due to the injury sustained in training last month.
Klopp had expected Alexander-Arnold to be out for a few weeks, but said the 23-year-old would return to team training ahead of Saturday’s home game against Watford.
“Trent wanted to go to the national team but he could not. The scans showed he could not go anywhere but sometimes injuries are not that serious that you are out for five six weeks,” Klopp told a news conference.