Arsenal vs Manchester United: Paul Pogba out of the season; who will replace him?

Let us take a look at the midfielders who might replace Paul Pogba in the Manchester United’s starting line-up:

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba in a file photo; Credit: Twitter/@paulpogba
By Karthik Raman | Apr 22, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Manchester United received a massive blow ahead of their clash against Arsenal with the injury of their star midfielder Paul Pogba. The Frenchman’s latest injury means he will be out for the rest of the season. With United’s ambition of finishing in a top-four place becoming slimmer every week, the latest injury could not have come at the worst time for Ralf Rangnick. Moreover, the French midfielder’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, meaning Pogba could have very well played his last match for Manchester United. Nonetheless, United still have five games left to play this season, starting with a visit to the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday.

Let us take a look at the midfielders who might replace Paul Pogba in the Manchester United’s starting line-up:

Jesse Lingard

The Englishman has been experiencing a forgettable season at the Old Trafford this campaign. He started the season decently but since struggled for game time which has also affected his performance level. Injuries also played a part in hampering his return to the team. 

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For a while, it seemed difficult for Lingard to even enter the pitch as a substitute, showing how far he had fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford. However, injuries to other players have seen Lingard get game time in the last couple of matches. He could occupy the left side of a midfield three in a 4-3-3 formation on Saturday.

Juan Mata

The Spaniard is almost a forgotten figure at Old Trafford. Just like Lingard, Mata has also struggled for game time this season. With United not playing well in cup competitions, Mata’s opportunities have been limited this campaign. 

However, injuries have forced Rangnick to hand Mata some unlikely opportunities in recent matches. The 33-year-old can play on the right or left side of a midfield three, while also having experience of playing on the right flank. His age could deny him a chance to play at the Emirates against a young Arsenal side.

Hannibal Mejbri

The teenager could have an outside chance of starting in the match. He has pace, aggression and good dribbling ability. However, his lack of experience could prevent Mejbri from starting the game.

In the last match at Anfield, he came on as a late substitute and showed a real will to put up a fight. That approach could help him get involved in the upcoming match, but not as a starter.

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Scott Mctominay

The Scottish midfielder seems to be the safest bet to replace Pogba in the starting line-up. In the pre-match press conference, Rangnick confirmed Mctominay’s availability for the clash on Saturday.

He could start in a midfield three that would see Nemanja Matic sit deep and Bruno Fernandes having a free role to roam around the pitch. Mctominay’s energy, drive and physicality were missed at Anfield. His return from injury for Saturday’s clash will be a big boost for Rangnick.

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