Jose Mourinho believes that Paul Pogba must be the one to explain his recent poor form, but the Manchester United manager does not think his midfielder’s struggles are down to past injuries.
Pogba, United’s record signing, has made just three starts since engaging in a heated touchline exchange with Mourinho during the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in late January.
The 25-year-old is no longer guaranteed a place in Mourinho’s side and saw academy graduate Scott McTominay selected ahead of him in both recent Champions League knockout ties against Sevilla.
Ahead of Swansea City’s visit to Old Trafford on Saturday, Mourinho denied that Pogba’s slump had anything to do with injury but claimed that the £89m midfielder must be the one to explain his form.
“I think he is very fine after the injury. It was a difficult injury, it was an injury that other players, other clubs, other medical assessments, they end in surgery,” the United manager said.
“His option with the medical opinions was not to go to the surgery table and his recovery was really really good. I think he is more than fine in relation to his recovery from the injury, which is an area sometimes where you have a recurrence. In his case, not at all.”
Mourinho added: “It’s nothing to do with his injury. His recovery was good.”
When pressed on what he thought Pogba’s poor form was down to, Mourinho deflected and replied: “Ask him. Ask him when you get a chance when he thinks about it.”
Asked whether he thought he could do anything differently in order to coax the best out of Pogba, he simply said: “I work. It’s the only thing I can do. I cannot do anything else.”
Pogba put his form at club level behind him during the recent international break, scoring a free-kick and assisting Kylian Mbappé during France’s 3-1 win over Russia in St Petersburg on Tuesday night.