Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team selection for Saturday’s must-win Premier League match against Everton will leave Paul Pogba questioning his place in his manager’s long-term plans, according to Rio Ferdinand.
The 27-year-old conceded the penalty which allowed Arsenal to claim a rare win at Old Trafford last weekend and followed up that error with a subdued performance in the calamitous midweek Champions League defeat in Istanbul.
With Solskjaer battling to reverse his side’s fortunes amid mounting speculation over his job, the United boss opted to drop Pogba to the bench at Goodison Park and select the workmanlike duo of Fred and Scott McTominay, with summer signing Donny van de Beek also left out from the start.
Reacting to Pogba’s demotion, Ferdinand told BT Sport: ‘He’s (Solskjaer) saying there, ‘you front four go and win me the game’.
‘If I’m sitting there and I’m Paul Pogba I’m going ‘I’m not in his best team He needs to pull out a result, he’s under immense pressure today and I’m on the bench’.
‘What does that say to the likes of Paul Pogba. That’s where if I’m Pogba I’m like ‘where do I lie in his plans’. I think for Ole the two in front of the back four are his insurance policy. That front four have got to go and produce. Rashford, Bruno, creating chances and scoring goals is what he needs from them today.’
Ferdinand’s former England team-mate and fellow pundit Joe Cole went a step further, meanwhile, claiming Solskjaer simply cannot ‘trust ‘ Pogba to operate in a deeper role and demonstrate the discipline required.
‘With McTominay and Fred, there will be limited mistakes, a bit more switched on defensively and good characters. He’s gone with lads he can trust today.’