Why Manchester United MUST keep Paul Pogba: Pre-season tour squad full of rookies lays bare Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's midfield weakness

Paul Pogba is hoping to force through a move away from Manchester United

10 July 2019 - 08:54

While the circus surrounding Paul Pogba's transfer situation is once again in full flow, it is easy to overlook Manchester United's worrying midfield situation.

Pogba is looking to force through a move to either Juventus or Real Madrid having grown increasingly unsettled at Old Trafford over the past 12 months.

But one glance at United's pre-season touring party shows an alarming dearth of options in central midfield.

Paul Pogba is trying to force his way out of Manchester United this summer

Paul Pogba is trying to force his way out of Manchester United this summer

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must try to keep the midfielder at United next season

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must try to keep the midfielder at United next season

It is the most clear sign yet that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must do everything he can to keep hold of his World Cup-winning midfielder this summer.

Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, has already made clear that he is trying to negotiate his client's exit from United despite two years remaining on his contract. 

And on Tuesday, Raiola said: 'Hopefully there will be soon a satisfying solution for all parties.' 

Pogba leaving, however, is not a satisfactory solution for Solskjaer. 

According to Spanish newspaper AS, Solskjaer intends to use Pogba's presence on United's pre-season tour of Australia, Singapore and China to convince the 26-year-old to stay. Whether his advances fall on deaf ears is yet to be seen.

With United having let Ander Herrera join Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer this summer, the sheer lack of experience at Solskjaer's disposal must now be of great concern. 

Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola has repeatedly confirmed he wants out of Manchester United

Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola has repeatedly confirmed he wants out of Manchester United

It is the last thing United need after allowing Ander Herrera to move to Paris Saint-Germain

It is the last thing United need after allowing Ander Herrera to move to Paris Saint-Germain

The manager has Fred to enter the fray, but since his £52million arrival last year he is yet to set the world alight.

James Garner, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, Daniel James, Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira, who together have an average age of just 20, will be blooded on United's Australasian tour. 

Jesse Lingard, 26, Nemanja Matic, 30, and Juan Mata, 31, who they have just managed to tie down to a new deal, will represent the relatively rare experienced heads in midfield.

While McTominay has managed to get a lot of game time under his belt in recent seasons, Solskjaer would prefer the player to progress at his own pace rather than bearing the brunt of filling Pogba's shoes. 

Pereira has shown glimpses but not the consistency while James, who signed from Swansea this summer, comes with a lofty billing but is as yet unproven in the top flight. 

Youngsters like Tahith Chong will be given a chance on United's pre-season tour to Australia

Youngsters like Tahith Chong will be given a chance on United's pre-season tour to Australia

 

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