The Frenchman was left on the bench at St James’ Park, although was called upon in the 69th minute with the score at 1-1 before the Red Devils scored three late goals to win 4-1.
Pogba, summer signing Donny van de Beek and Nemanja Matic were all on the bench for the contest, with Scott McTominay and Fred at the base of midfield, behind Juan Mata, Bruno Fernandes and Daniel James.
Solskjaer said that Pogba has had a couple of fitness issues, while also hinting that his form has perhaps not been what it could be of late.
‘Well I think that it’s every single player here that needs to perform but Paul has had some hip and back problems when he was away with France, so he wasn’t right to start him today,’ said the United boss.
‘We have many big games coming up and everyone has to perform when they come on because now we have competition for places.
‘Delighted with everyone today and Paul put on a good performance when he came on.’
Van de Beek is still waiting for his first Premier League start after his big-money move from Ajax in the summer, which has confused some onlookers as Fred, Matic, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes, James and Mata have all been chosen ahead of him.
Solskjaer insists the Dutchman will get his chance and did not seem happy that his team selection was challenged after a victory on the road.
‘He’ll get his game-time. He’s been fantastic in the group,’ Solskjaer said when asked about Van de Beek.
‘I think you see today and in training, he’s so neat and tidy, I don’t think he lost the ball once.
‘It’s about finding the balance in the team. We’ve won 4-1 today and you’re asking why I didn’t start one of the players.
‘He’ll have a very good impact on the team.’