Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Paul Pogba is a doubt for the Premier League clash with Arsenal on Monday, while Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are almost certain to miss out against the Gunners as well.
Pogba missed games against Leicester, Astana and West Ham with an ankle injury prior to making a comeback against Rochdale in the EFL Cup this week. But another ankle knock in that contest has left the Frenchman battling the clock to be ready for the Arsenal clash.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Solskjaer described Pogba’s ankle as ‘very swollen’, adding that it is now a ‘race’ for Monday night’s kick-off.
In an unexpected further setback for Martial, Solskjaer told MUTV shortly before facing the media that the forward is now unlikely to be back before the October international break. That appears to rule him out of games against AZ Alkmaar and Newcastle in addition to Arsenal.
“I don’t think we’ll see Anthony before the international break,” the United boss said.
The Frenchman had been expected to return to action on Monday and it is a major personal blow as his ongoing injury trouble is forcing him to miss important opportunities in what should have been his first season as United’s premier striker since his debut 2015/16 campaign.
Rashford was always less likely to make it back in time to face Arsenal and Solskjaer doesn’t expect the 21-year-old England international to be fit.
It leaves academy graduate Mason Greenwood as the first-team squad’s only recognised forward, meaning the 17-year-old could make his first Premier League start of the season after scoring in each of his last two appearances against Astana and Rochdale.
Jesse Lingard, Daniel James and Juan Mata could all support the youngster in attack.
In a defensive boost for United, Luke Shaw could be back after Solskjaer told MUTV: “Luke is improving so, hopefully, we’ll see him.” But Phil Jones is out injured and will join Martial on the sidelines until after next month’s international break.