Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has labelled Paul Pogba "the best all-round midfielder in the world" following the Frenchman's return from almost three months on the sidelines.
Pogba, 26, came on as a second-half substitute when United lost 2-0 at Watford on Sunday, which ended the club's six-match unbeaten streak and left them eighth in the Premier League.
Solskjaer spoke at a press conference on Tuesday and hailed Pogba's influence in all areas of the pitch, via Hayters TV:
The £89 million club-record signing has made only seven appearances this season following his ankle problems, but that doesn't appear to have affected Solskjaer's opinion of the player. He said:
"It might be that we do get him in from the start because you just want to get more and more into the team when he plays.
"He can play anywhere, he can play the whole midfield, he is a box-to-box midfielder. He can drop deep, get it and play them long passes. He can get higher up and combine like he did on Sunday.
"It depends on the game. That's the beauty of having Paul because he is the best all-round midfielder in the world, he can do all the roles. It's great to have him back."
The Norwegian added Pogba "did really well" after he entered the fray against Watford in the 64th minute, though the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner failed to pull his side back from two goals down.
Pogba—who often shines for France—rejoined the Red Devils from Juventus in 2016, when Jose Mourinho was still at the helm, but his return hasn't brought about the transformative effect United would have hoped for.
He helped the team win a UEFA Europa League and Carabao Cup double in 2017, while last season saw him score a career-high 16 goals—his previous best in a single campaign was 10.
However, Pogba's commitment to the United cause has been questioned in recent times, particularly after the player said in June that he felt it was time to explore "a new challenge," via BBC Radio Manchester:
BBC 5 Live Sport recently discussed Pogba's ability to unlock defences as something of a unique talent among United's players, though that wasn't apparent against Watford:
BBC 5 Live Sport @5liveSport
"Adding the Pogba dynamic solves the problem of breaking down teams when you dominate possession" 🗣 The #MNC talk Paul Pogba's return to #MUFC and the difference he made in midfield ⚽️ #MUFC fans, are you happy to see him back? 👇 🎧📲 https://t.co/vDC39Oobb3 #bbcfootball https://t.co/ADCQdlQZsC
United have the lowest points tally they've posted at Christmas in the Premier League era (25) and are at risk of finishing 2019 in the bottom half of the table.
Pogba could make his first start since September 30 if he's deemed fit to make a full return, and Solskjaer seems to remain among the player's biggest admirers.