Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that star midfielder Paul Pogba will start Wednesday's Champions League clash with Valencia.
Rumours of a bust-up between Mourinho and Pogba have dominated headlines since the start of the season, and the speculation has continued in recent weeks as Pogba has been omitted from the starting lineup in three of United's last four matches. He was given just 15 minutes in the 2-2 draw with Arsenal and was an unused substitute during Saturday's 4-1 win over Fulham.
Speaking following Saturday's victory, Mourinho admitted Pogba would start against Valencia and challenged the forward to improve. He is quoted by The Sun as saying: "He has to play with the same mentality as the team playing with.
"Paul can be a fantastic player, he has the potential to be a fantastic player.
"Against Valencia he is going to start and against Valencia he is going to have a fantastic game to play and show everybody how good he is."
One win over the bottom team in the league and Mourinho’s managed to convince loads of people that Man Utd are better without Paul Pogba.— Scott Saunders (@_scottsaunders) December 8, 2018
Slippery slope, that.
Mourinho is said to be frustrated with Pogba's performance during his last league start - the 2-2 draw with Southampton. For a large part of the match, United were guilty of an incredibly lacklustre performance, and this has been suggested as a possible reason for Pogba's absence from the starting lineup.
However, he will be given the chance to prove himself when he starts against Valencia on Wednesday, in what could be a crucial match for the Red Devils.
United can still finish top of their group, but would need leaders Juventus to drop points against Swiss side Young Boys.
Pogba, who is widely regarded as one of the finest midfielders in the world, has been a regular feature in United's starting lineup this season. He has started 17 matches for the club and has racked up five goals and four assists in all competitions.