Paul Pogba almost seems like a distant memory at Manchester United.
The Frenchman hasn’t played for the Red Devils since September, having been ruled out with an ankle injury that required surgery.
Unfortunately, during that time rumours have resurfaced that the midfielder is also seeking a move away from the club, with Real Madrid the reported destination.
That means that videos of him playing basketball that emerged recently were met with more than a few raised eyebrows.
There were even suggestions that he had already played his last game for United.
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However, it finally appeared that he was ready to come back, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preparing to utilise him in the busy festive period.
Then, lo and behold, he was struck down with illness. Solskjaer told a press conference on Tuesday:
“He’s been struck down ill. He’s been off two days, which is not beneficial. It’s probably set him back quite a bit.
“It’s games like the Everton one, for example, when you are lacking that one creative pass or idea.
“He has the quality not many midfielders in the world have, so it would be great to get him back.”
Just like with the basketball video, Pogba seems to have a knack for poor timing. After a ceremony, the 26-year-old began posting videos of himself looking rather lively at his brother’s wedding on Friday.
The trouble is that United fans have long been sceptical about whether he really wants to play for them at all given his ongoing absence.
That’s not to say his latest setback isn’t genuine, but it has prompted a reaction from United fans nonetheless.
It should be reiterated that Pogba did have permission to attend the function and was diagnosed as ‘ill’ by club doctors on Sunday.
Of course, there are other United fans who have stuck up for Pogba as he did fall ill after the wedding and can hardly be criticised for having a good time on such a big occasion.
That said, putting it on social media wasn’t the cleverest move.
GIVEMESPORT’s Kat Lucas says:
Pogba can’t help falling sick, but as he’s shown all too often at Old Trafford, he needs to be more sensitive to how his social media activity can come across. It’s a real problem at the club, as Jesse Lingard has learned the hard way.
Since his last game for United, Pogba has posted from Dubai, Miami, and Paris. Putting videos like this on Instagram just isn’t a good look, especially given his perceived lack of commitment.
Despite defending him publicly, one has to wonder what Solskjaer makes of it all privately. He is severely lacking quality in Pogba’s position, though he could also do with shifting him into a number 10 role.
There has always been added scrutiny on Pogba given his £89million price tag and his posts are just going to cause more friction with those fans who are losing patience.