Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick is excited by the prospect of Paul Pogba’s welcome return from injury.
The France international is fit again after suffering a thigh problem while away with his country in November.
After stepping up his training at Carrington, he is in line to feature against Middlesbrough in Friday night’s Emirates FA Cup tie at Old Trafford.
The question for many fans is where will Pogba operate within Rangnick’s preferred formation and system?
“I think he’s definitely ready for tomorrow and, since Fred only came back yesterday with jet-lag, as he played for Brazil, for me, it is quite logical to let Paul play,” explained the boss to club media’s Stewart Gardner. “To see how he is doing and what kind of level he can play.
“What I’ve seen in training is promising and now it’s up to him to show up on the big pitch, in the big competitions we’re still in. Like everybody, I’m very excited by what he can give to the team and which kind of level he can play.
The German added: “What I’ve seen so far, with regard to his physique, his physical presence, the technical assets he has, I think his best position is a central midfield position. I don’t see him that much as a winger.
“By saying that, I wouldn’t say he cannot at all play that position. But we have quite a few players for the winger position right now. I see his best possible position as central midfield, if it’s a no.6 or an 8, I have to see. I haven’t seen him play so far. If you ask me right now, probably the no.8 position.”
In a separate interview with journalists, Rangnick reiterated the level of expectancy around the return of the World Cup winner.
“I will be excited myself to see how Paul is doing and, like all the other players, for me, he is now a new player,” he stated. “He can show me and the team and the fans and everybody in England how good and at what kind of level he can play. We shall wait and see what he can deliver.”
Pogba scored a dramatic late winner against Boro on New Year’s Eve in 2016, earning a 2-1 triumph for the Reds at Old Trafford. The midfielder will be hoping for a similar impact against the Championship side in Friday’s 20:00 GMT kick-off, as Rangnick’s men look to reach round five of the FA Cup.