Paul Pogba has been ruled out of Manchester United's FA Cup clash against Huddersfield Town through illness.
The midfield star, who has been in the papers this week over an alleged falling out with manager Jose Mourinho, is absent from the matchday squad for the fifth round tie against the Terriers according to the club's official site.
Pogba has been replaced in the 18-man party by Under-18s star Ethan Hamilton instead, and the product of United's youth academy will be hoping to make his senior bow for the Red Devils if they have the game wrapped up early enough.
Paul Pogba will miss today's @EmiratesFACup tie at Huddersfield due to illness. U23s midfielder Ethan Hamilton has taken his place in the squad. #MUFChttps://t.co/7YAoaV45KM pic.twitter.com/Yelg8eTPnu— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 17, 2018
Reports in Saturday's media suggested that Pogba and Mourinho had held crisis talks amidst rumours that the France international was unhappy with the role he was told to perform in United's starting lineup.
Pogba is believed to want to influence matches further up the field, but Mourinho is adamant that the 22-year-old must balance his attacking forays with his defensive duties if he is to become the world-class player he wants to be.
The Portuguese boss refuted those claims in Friday's pre-match press conference and stated that all speculation over Pogba's dealings with him were 'lies'.
And that’s how it starts.— Steven (@TwoFootValencia) February 17, 2018
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However, Pogba's absence from the squad for today's contest will only add further fuel to the fire about a rift between the pair despite United's claims to the contrary.
His unavailability does hand Hamilton the chance to impress though, and Under-18s manager Kieran McKenna explained why it was an amazing day for the 19-year-old and the club's academy to see him selected for the senior side.
Well the FA Cup was fun while it lasted.— Sibs (@SibsMUFC) February 17, 2018
McKenna said: “He is a fantastic character around the group and another one with a great training mentality every day. He's a hard worker who wants to get better and develop himself.
“He's a really solid player for the group as well as being a good talent. With his attitude, it could certainly carry him very far in his career.”
Hamilton has featured regularly for Under-23s head coach Nicky Butt this term and will wear the number 48 shirt at the John Smith Stadium on Saturday evening.