Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is ‘delighted’ with Paul Pogba and has discussed the ‘huge strides’ made by Antony Martial as a number nine this season.
United face FC Copenhagen in the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Monday night, with the Red Devils seeking to end a promising season with major silverware as they enter the latter stages of European competition.
Central to the club’s hopes could be the performances of midfielder Pogba, who has impressed since his return to the side in recent months, the France international having endured an injury-hit campaign that saw him make just eight appearances in all competitions prior to the Premier League‘s restart in June.
Pogba has featured in each of United’s fixtures since the season’s resumption and is rumoured to be close to signing a new deal at Old Trafford, a move which will be a major boost to Solskjaer who admits he has been ‘delighted’ with the 27-year-old’s recent progress.
“I’ve answered numerous questions on Paul, and we’re delighted that he’s back playing. He’s fit, he’s enjoying his football,” said the United boss at his pre-match press conference. “Of course, he’s got to make up for lost time, and he’s trying to do that.
“He’s training extra, he’s always a great personality in and around the place, and hopefully we can see him lift this trophy [like] he’s done before. He’s professional, he’s a fantastic boy, and I’m delighted that we’ve got him in the team.”
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Solskjaer also lavished praise on Anthony Martial following the forward’s career-best season to date, the Frenchman having flourished since returning to a central role and scored his 23rd goal of the season during the United’s 2-1 win over LASK last week.
Solskjaer says it has been an encouraging season for the star who has made ‘huge strides’ in his development, admitting he is delighted to see Martial adding more goals to his game by working on the predatory aspects of his play.
“Anto has made huge strides this season in many aspects of his game,” Solskjaer said. “Of course, I like him scoring between the posts, scoring simple goals, because we know he can score worldies.”
Martial has starred over the second half of the campaign and looks to be in the best physical condition of his time in English football to date, Solskjaer revealing the forward is reaping the benefits of his work away from the pitch.
“He’s in the gym a lot and working on his fitness and strength – the coaches have done a fantastic job with him,” he added.
“He’s physically at his best in his career, [and we’re] looking forward to seeing him improving [with] more to come.”