Paul Pogba is set to be fit again for Man United soon and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he has three teamsheets in mind when the Frenchman is back from injury.
Pogba has not played since the 1-1 draw with Arsenal on September 30 due to a troublesome ankle injury but is poised to make his return next month, possibly against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Pogba’s two-month lay-off, as well as Nemanja Matic’s lengthy spell on the sidelines, has left United with a depleted midfield and Scott McTominay has also missed the last two games at Sheffield United and Astana with an ankle injury.
McTominay could be back for the Premier League visit of Aston Villa on Sunday and the Scot formed an encouraging partnership with Fred in the absence of Pogba, who started the season in a midfield axis with McTominay.
Andreas Pereira has not convinced in the No.10 role he has occupied for the majority of the season and Solskjaer suggested he could accommodate a midfield trio of Fred, McTominay and Pogba in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
“The beauty we have with Paul is that he can play in so many roles,” Solskjaer explained. “He can play in a two, he can play in a three and he can play as a number 10.
“And I think we all saw last week, and today, that Jesse is also coming back to his best. He played centre midfield at times against Sheffield United and he has the energy and drive to do that.
“We’ve got more and more coming back and that’s great, we shall see who is fit when Paul is fit because you can’t plan too far ahead in football.”
United are ninth in the Premier League table and nine points off the fourth and final Champions League qualifying spot. United face top six teams Tottenham and Manchester City in their next three games in a hectic December.
Chelsea’s defeat at City gave United the chance to bridge the gap on fourth spot but they conceded a stoppage-time equaliser at Sheffield United to draw 3-3. Solskjaer insists United’s aim in the league remains the top four.
“I know we are still in November and it will be December 1 when we come to play Aston Villa on Sunday,” Solskjaer explained. “There are so many points to play for and win. That is what we are striving for, to get into the top four.
“There is a bit of a gap, of course, from Leicester City [in second] down, but we will still give it a go and the more players we get back [from injury] I’m sure we can start gathering points.
“We are getting better and better. The boys are really starting to come through physically and mentally compared to when we started the season.”