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Why Paul Pogba was left out of Man Utd’s squad to face Istanbul Basaksehir


Paul Pogba was missing from Manchester United’s squad (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was a surprise omission from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Champions League squad to face Istanbul Basaksehir at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

The Frenchman missed Saturday’s 1-0 win against West Brom with an ankle strain but he trained in the two days leading up to the visit of Basaksehir, who beat United 2-1 in the corresponding fixture in Turkey earlier this month.

Solskjaer had hoped to have Pogba fit and available given United’s reliance on the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Fred in recent weeks but he failed to meet up with the squad at the Lowry Hotel on Tuesday, raising early fears that he had sustained a fresh injury.

The Norwegian admitted on Monday that Pogba’s availiability would be determined by how his ankle reacted to training the day before the game and Solskjaer confirmed to MUTV before kick-off that the issue had flared up today.

Pogba has an ankle issue (Picture: Getty)

‘His ankle is swollen up,’ said Solskjaer.

‘He trained trained yesterday but didn’t feel right and this morning it was confirmation he couldn’t play.’

Solskjaer will be hoping the issue can be resolved in time as United travel to Southampton on Sunday in the Premier League.

In Pogba’s absence, Donny van de Beek has been selected to start alongside Fernandes and Fred.

There’s also a first start for Edinson Cavani following his arrival as a free agent, with Solskjaer saying the Uruguayan deserves to start after building up his fitness.

‘We want to go out and dominate, create chances and hopefully provide balls into the box for Edinson,’ said Solskjaer.

‘His start has been positive and now he deserves to start.He’s getting his fitness, he’s played two games for Uruguay over the international break and he’ll be flying hopefully.

‘He looks after himself, we’ve been step by step with him we don’t want him coming in and getting an injury. His experience is going to be vital for us this season.’


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