Paul Pogba likely to have played last game for Manchester United

Paul Pogba has probably played his last game for Manchester United.

Ralf Rangnick, the United interim manager, revealed on Friday that the France midfielder is likely to be out for a minimum of four weeks with a calf injury sustained in the 4-0 hammering by Liverpool on Tuesday and may not play again this season.

With the club’s final game of the campaign away to Crystal Palace on May 22 – a month away – there is every chance Pogba will not be seen in a United shirt again with his contract expiring at the end of the season and their record £89 million signing expected to leave.

“With Paul after the scan we did yesterday or the day before yesterday, it is very unlikely that he will play until the end of the season again,” Rangnick said.

“The doctor told me that it will take four weeks minimum for him to recover and since the last game is at the end of May I don’t think it’s very likely that he will play again.”

‘We will see improvement under ten Hag’

Rangnick believes United have made a “very good choice” by appointing Ajax coach Erik ten Hag as their next permanent manager and is confident there will be improvement at Old Trafford next season.

“I knew that Erik was one of the candidates the board spoke to and I told them from people I knew Erik would be a good choice – I believe he will be a very good choice,” Rangnick said.

“We don’t know each other in person, we haven’t met, from what I’ve seen at Bayern Munich when he was the U23 coach and Ajax now, I like his football.

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“I’m pretty positive with a full pre-season and having a chance to build and mold his own staff, a new team, which is obvious, we will see improvement.”

Rangnick said he would be happy to share his opinions on the squad with Ten Hag and reiterated that there is a huge rebuilding job to come. “It’s obvious there are quite a few players whose contracts are expiring, there might be a few others who are on loan who might still want to be on loan or leave the club, so it will be a significant change and rebuild necessary, that is clear,” he said.

“But how many players and on which positions? I haven’t spoken to Erik as yet but if he asks me my opinion in person I’m obviously ready and willing to speak with him about my experience. He will also have his own ideas from him but that it’s not three or four players, it’s obvious, bearing in mind how many players whose contracts are expiring.

Police officers with sniffer dogs descended on Harry Maguire’s house on Thursday afternoon after the United captain received a bomb threat. Maguire has bore the brunt of criticism from United fans for his poor form and the team’s troubles this season but Rangnick said the episode was a reflection of the “crazy world we’re living in”.

“I haven’t seen him because I only got to know about this terrible, terrible thing yesterday afternoon and since then I haven’t been able to speak with him,” Rangnick said. “But again this is another bad sign of the crazy world we’re living in. I feel sorry for Harry that he had that terrible experience. He knows everyone is behind him, the club, his teammates of him. It’s sad enough that crazy things like that happen.”

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Rangnick warned his players they will get nothing from Saturday’s game against Arsenal until there is a dramatic improvement from the Liverpool debacle. But he believes Arsenal’s defense remains ripe for exploitation.

“They brought in some young players, got rid of some players who did not fit into that style of football, it’s a high attacking team with fast strikers and pretty aggressive in the first third, always trying to press and counter press but still also vulnerable at the back,” Rangnick said. “I like watching them but hopefully not against us tomorrow so it’s up to us to be aware and prepared for what they are doing upfront but also take advantage of the same we will hopefully get in their half.

“I don’t think it makes sense to speculate how likely it is that we can still finish fourth after a performance like that at Liverpool. We just need to make sure we play far better and play in a different way with more conviction, confidence, aggression.

“The way we played at Liverpool, especially in the first half, it will be difficult to get something out of the game at Arsenal. We have to show a completely different performance.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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