Henrikh Mkhitaryan has conceded that Manchester United will struggle without the presence of Paul Pogba over the next few weeks.
The Frenchman hobbled out of Man United’s 3-0 win over FC Basel last week with a hamstring problem that looks set to rule him out for four to six weeks.
It was later reported that Pogba could miss up to three months, but Jose Mourinho went on to claim that such rumours were false.
Nevertheless, Mkhitaryan, speaking soon after United’s 4-0 win over Everton, noted that United would miss the 24-year-old’s presence.
“It’s hard, because he’s a top player for us,” he said.
“It’s going to be very difficult, but the coach knows how to make up for that and we’re going to help him come back stronger.”
The fact that United, in the end, romped to another 4-0 win somewhat glossed over what was at times a stultified display. Had they drawn 1-1 – a result that looked increasingly likely during the second period – or even just limped to a 1-0 win, Pogba’s absence would have been a central story.
There is no avoiding that, without the Frenchman’s fluid, innovative influence, United’s midfield looks less dynamic and their overall play more predictable. Everton somehow looked more energetic than United despite their away trip to northern Italy on Thursday.
Supporters will just have to face a simple fact over the next few weeks: without Pogba, they are not the same threat.