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Yaya Toure Says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Has Given Paul Pogba the Freedom to Shine

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 13: Paul Pogba of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on January 13, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Yaya Toure believes Manchester United are starting to see the best of Paul Pogba now that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has replaced Jose Mourinho as manager.

Speaking on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football (h/t Goal), Toure said Solskjaer has given Pogba the freedom and confidence to show his best form:

Sky Sports MNF @SkySportsMNF

"He has more belief from his manager. Look at him at the World Cup!" @YayaToure offers in-depth insight in to @paulpogba's recent up-turn in form alongside @Carra23. 📺 Watch #MNF live on Sky Sports PL or follow here: https://t.co/TSU3VnMzSL https://t.co/WoyWCuIUmU

"To be honest, I think part of it is he has more belief in his manager and his manager put himself in the situation," he said.

Toure added: "He's the type of player who wants to have that connection with his manager, being trusted by him and telling him to push. Feeling the love. I loved that. That's good for United and that's good for the fans because this kind of player always has to shine, they have to show their quality."

Pogba has produced four goals and four assists in the five matches he has played under interim boss Solskjaer, who replaced Mourinho in December.

On Sunday, he put in a strong performance to help United beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0, which included a lovely pass to set up Marcus Rashford's winner.

Squawka shared the numbers behind his outing:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Paul Pogba’s game by numbers vs. Tottenham: 67 touches 100% tackles won 30 (81%) passes completed 6 shots 5 shots on target 4 take-ons completed 3 chances created 1 aerial duel won 1 clearance A fine performance. 🙌 https://t.co/qWDf7qJQBv

After the match, Solskjaer spoke of his desire to give the Frenchman the freedom to make decisive contributions in the final third, per the Press Association's Simon Peach:

Simon Peach @SimonPeach

"Paul's one of the best midfielders in the world going forward so you should release him forward" - #MUFC caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on how he is getting the best out of Paul Pogba https://t.co/S5xh5UnOUO

Toure also said Pogba's new attacking role suits him much more after he struggled to deliver consistently under typically more defensive approach of Mourinho:

"Sometimes it is very, very difficult to be able to deliver at your best position at the best qualities. Because you can't say to go back to be like N'Golo Kante. It's impossible.

"But what he can deliver is—when you see him at Juventus in the past, you see a lot of quality. He can shoot from far, he can dribble, he can kick passes like you saw this weekend against Tottenham. It's what the fans want and it's what a club like this are paying him for."

It's an encouraging sign for United that Pogba delivered against a side of Spurs' calibre, having previously only dominated against teams in the bottom half of the Premier League table under Solskjaer.

Pogba must now continue to perform to his capabilities. He's had an excellent month, but for United to close the six-point gap on the top four this season and become title challengers again in the future, he needs to be able to consistently show his best over longer stretches.

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