Ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup fixture, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer provided an injury update on stars Diogo Dalot and Paul Pogba, and it sounds like only one of the two will be available to start when the Red Devils host Colchester United at Old Trafford.
“Maybe Diogo after he’s had a week of training, but probably no one else,” the former United legend said.
Pogba has been nursing a foot injury and hasn’t played since United drew 1-1 against Arsenal in the Premier League. The Frenchman returned to Manchester on Monday after a weekend getaway celebrating his brother Florentin’s wedding in France.
Per the boss, Pogs has now come down with an illness, which will delay his imminent return to the pitch.
“Of all things he’s now struck down with illness and he’s been off for two or three days,” Solskjaer revealed. “That’s not beneficial and that’s probably set him back quite a bit.
“As I’ve said so many times, Paul is a top player that we want to see playing his best football at Man United.
“We just need to get him match fit. He might be half an hour, 45, 60, 90 minutes – who knows – in the first game. We’re working hard to get him back, but now he’s ill.”
Several Academy Players Could Make Their First-Team Debuts This Month
The festive fixture period is always a challenging time for most Premier League teams. With so many games in so little time, the dilemma of who sits versus who plays will be heavy on Solskjaer’s mind.
That being said, the manager opened up about putting out the strongest team possible for each of United’s upcoming games.
“We’ve got a squad and we’ve got to rotate,” Solskjaer explained. “
We did that on Thursday [against AZ Alkmaar] and we’re going to make changes again because there are so many games.
“I think that the team we’re going to put out is strong enough to win the game. At home, against a League Two team, you’re big favourites and you’ve got to expect that.”
United recently celebrated having an Academy graduate in their lineup for the 4,000th consecutive game, a tradition that dates back to 1937.
Pogba, who entered United’s Academy when he was 16, spoke about the program’s significance to MUTV on Friday.
“It’s unbelievable and it shows the identity of this club and the culture of this club,” the 26-year-old said. “We’ve always talked about youth players coming into the first team and it’s just carried on. It’s something that is in this club, it’s incredible it’s been happening since 1937. You want to carry this on for the young players and the next generation to go and play in the first team.”
With the talent currently spilling from United Academy graduates, it would absolutely be in Solskjaer’s best interest to promote these players to a well-deserved starting role.