Paul Pogba led the Manchester United team at Old Trafford in the first Premier League game of the season.
Manchester United claimed a 2-1 win against Leicester City. The Red Devils lined up with several absentees, including captain Antonio Valencia. In the Ecuadorian’s absence, Jose Mourinho chose to hand over the responsibility to Paul Pogba.
The Portuguese boss then spoke about why he handed the France international with the captain’s armband. Asked about the significance of making Pogba captain, Mourinho told Sky Sports:
“Last season he was captain a few times. Valencia is captain, but Valencia is not here. ‘Paul is one of the options, third season, made in the academy, understands the club, the culture, good relationship with his teammates and a good example today putting himself in the team.”
Even club legend Gary Neville made a guess as to why Jose would have made the decision. “I think it’s a good move,” Neville said on Sky Sports, when asked about the captaincy decision.
José Mourinho on whether making Paul Pogba captain was a vote of confidence: “Paul is one of the options. He’s in his third season, made in the academy, understands the club, good relation with the boys. A good example today of making himself available to try and help the team.” pic.twitter.com/brVVM53uwS
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) August 10, 2018
“I think what Jose Mourinho saw and what all of us saw in the summer was Paul Pogba smashing the middle of the France changing room, calling on the rest of the players, demanding more from them. He seemed to be a leader in that dressing room for France.
“I think what Jose Mourinho is saying is ‘that’s what I need out here on this pitch in the first part of this season’.
“’You’ve done it for France in the summer, do it here now for this club, do it for me, do it for the rest of your teammates’. That’s the big thing.
Manchester United’s captain for the night scored an important first goal from the penalty spot in less than three minutes from kick off. That set United on their way to a hard fought victory versus a resolute Leicester City team.
Earlier in the transfer window, Paul Pogba was heavily linked with a move to Barcelona amid reports of a downhill relationship with Jose Mourinho. He had reportedly also rejected coming to training earlier to help the depleted United side.
However, those rumours would have definitely been laid to rest after what was seen in the Premier League’s opening clash.