How Manchester United's statistics compare with and without Paul Pogba

Pogba allegedly celebrated Mourinho's departure

No matter how they felt about Jose Mourinho, Manchester United players find themselves in an awkward spot now that he is gone. 

Should they find a new lease of life away to Cardiff City, then they will inevitably be accused of having deliberately downed tools to get the manager sacked. 

Yet the likes of Paul Pogba no longer have an excuse not to play well once the universally popular Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes the reins. 

The midfielder, who was an unused substitute in Mourinho's final game - a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool - is expected to return to the starting XI on Saturday evening. 

Romelu Lukaku has been granted compassionate leave, while youngsters Angel Gomes and James Garner have been included in the matchday squad. 

All eyes will be on Pogba, whose numerous bust-ups with Mourinho culminated in him seemingly celebrating the Portuguese's departure with an Instagram post of himself smirking when the news broke. 

Reports also emerged of the 25-year-old shouting "he f***** with the wrong baller" in the dressing room, before he was brought into line by Michael Carrick. 

Man United with Pogba vs without 

Mourinho lost his job, but Pogba hasn't been exempt from criticism - the consensus has been that he has underperformed again this season and it's hoped that Solskjaer's arrival will finally spark him into life. 

However, the Frenchman's stats so far this season prove that isn't necessarily the case. ESPN have compiled the following:

When Pogba is on the pitch, United are over three times more likely to score and create nearly four times as many chances. 

The Red Devils are also stronger in possession, boasting an average of 54% when Pogba plays compared to 49% when he doesn't. 

In that light, Pogba's advocates might allege that he has been made a scapegoat for his side's problems. 

Pogba's relationship with Mourinho was at an all-time low

It's also worth noting that of the five league games United have lost this season, Pogba didn't play in two of them.

In another he didn't complete the full 90 minutes, and against Brighton, he scored one of United's two goals. 

It just reiterates how important it is to have the £89million man fully on board. 

That's partly down to his own attitude, but it's undeniable that his relationship with Mourinho had become toxic. 

Just imagine how a revitalised Pogba could perform for the rest of the campaign under Solskjaer.  

How do you think Pogba has performed this season? Have your say in the comments. 

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