Paul Pogba was told by Jose Mourinho that he was not fit to captain Manchester United – but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinks different.
He sees the midfielder as a leader and would have no hesitation in handing him the armband.
The high of helping France to win the World Cup over the summer was followed by a maddening few months at Old Trafford, where the 25-year-old grew unsettled as tension built with the manager.
Things seemed to come to a head in September as Mourinho told ‘second captain’ Pogba he would not skipper United again in the build-up to the Carabao Cup defeat to Derby, with remarkable footage emerging the following day of a heated training-ground conversation between the pair.
Their relationship never recovered and the midfielder was not even getting minutes by the end of the Portuguese’s reign, never mind the armband.
But Pogba has been reborn under Solskjaer and has displayed leadership qualities, with video showing him geeing up team-mates before the Boxing Day win against Huddersfield – the second in their current run of seven straight wins in all competitions under the caretaker boss.
Asked if Pogba would be in contention to captain the side moving forwards, his former reserve team boss said: ‘Definitely, yeah, because I know the boy from before and he is a leader.
‘He’s a character, he influences people and you’ve seen the videos from France, and he cares and he really wants to be successful.
‘He knows he can’t do it by himself. It’s a team game and he’s a character that brings so many good things with him when he’s enjoying himself, I have to say.
‘You see the personality. He’d love playing football, he’s a larger-than-life character, that’s just the way he is.