Paul Pogba stole the headlines with an eye-catching performance on Friday night as he helped Manchester United open their 2018-19 Premier League campaign with three points.
Despite only returning to the Aon Training Complex in Carrington on Monday, Pogba not only started the game but netted a third-minute penalty to send Man United on their way to a 2-1 win over Leicester City at Old Trafford.
United fans weren’t just excited to see the 25-year-old start the campaign curtain-raiser, but also because he was named captain by manager Jose Mourinho.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Mourinho explained his decision to let Pogba lead the team out with the armband against Leicester: “Last season, he was captain a few times. The captain is [Antonio] Valencia. Valencia is not here. Paul is one of the options.
“It’s his third season in the club, he was made in the Academy and understands the club, the culture of the club and the tradition. He is with the boys in the dressing room and is a good example today of putting himself available to try to participate.”
As Mourinho suggested, Valencia is set to take over from the retired Michael Carrick once he returns from the calf injury he suffered against San Jose Earthquakes during pre-season, but Pogba is most certainly a leader figure in the squad which is crucial for such a young set of players.
It’s likely Pogba will continue his role as stand-in skipper when United travel to Brighton & Hove Albion for match no. 2 of the 18-19 season, so let’s hope for the same kind of performance as well.