Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that the mentality and morale of the dressing room is ‘miles better’ than it was only a few short months ago, which is one of the main factors why Paul Pogba appears increasingly likely to stay at the club.
For over a year, Pogba had been heavily rumoured to be on his way out of Old Trafford, a frustrated figure who could no longer handle the burden of trying to carry a disjointed team on his back.
But things could hardly have been more different since his return from a lengthy injury absence when the season restarted.
United are playing with a level of confidence and quality that wasn’t there before, which saw the team make history on Thursday night by becoming the first in Premier League history to win four consecutive games by a margin of at least three goals.
Pogba himself has recently commented about how happy he feels in the current setup, particularly praising Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood, and murmurings about a new contract are growing stronger with each week.
Pogba netted United’s third goal in the 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Thursday night and Solskjaer pointed out the difference behind the scenes when he spoke to the media afterwards.
“We’ve still got a contract with Paul and I’ve said it so many times, I think he’s a fantastic player, a fantastic person, one of the best midfielders in the world,” he said – via ManUtd.com.
“I think he’s proving that he’s getting better and better - he’s been out for so long so that’s only natural. You can see he’s enjoying himself. The team is a different team to the one he left when he was injured. He’s focused and the attitude is everything. It's miles better in that dressing room.”
Fernandes kicked off the rout, which perhaps should have seen United score five or six, with a contentious penalty – his seventh Premier League goal in 10 appearances. Greenwood added a stunning second for his 16th of the season in all competitions.
Solskjaer has previously commented that the sky is the limit for the 18-year-old, whom he has now declared undroppable as a result of his current form.
“I’m doing my bit to help him,” the United boss said. “He has to turn in performances in the training sessions and in the games, play properly. It’s all down to him and he can go as far as he wants to. You can’t leave a player out when he’s scoring goals. That’s more or less impossible.”