Marcus Rashford has conceded that Paul Pogba will be a “massive miss” against Everton this weekend after the Frenchman was seen leaving Old Trafford on crutches on Tuesday night.
Pogba was handed the captain’s armband for the first time in his United career as Jose Mourinho decided to rest Antonio Valencia for the clash wit FC Basel. The stage was set for the 24-year-old to lead Manchester United to an emphatic win on their return to the Champions League. But it wasn’t to be. With just 15 minutes on the clock Pogba overstretched and you could tell, almost instantly, that something was wrong. He took a few nervy paces before signalling to the bench. Jose Mourinho confirmed after the game that Pogba has suffered a hamstring injury and ruled him out of the clash with Everton on Sunday.
Thankfully, the discomfort invoked by seeing the midfielder leave the field clutching his hamstring was not compounded by a subsequent inertia going forward. Maroaune Fellani, his replacement, was an effervescent force in the middle alongside Nemanja Matic, powering home a header after 36 minutes to give United the lead before dominating in the second half. He was simply everywhere, stopping Basel from breaking through the lines and inflicting further late damage with an assist for Rashford.
But the teenager, whilst lauding United’s strength in depth, was quick to note that Mourinho’s men would indeed miss the August Player of the Month’s mesmerising influence against Ronald Koeman’s side.
“That’s why you have such a strong squad,” he said.
“It’s good for the manager, it’s good for the players as well because we’re always playing for competition. But Paul’s going to be a massive miss and hopefully we can get him back fit as soon as possible.
“We have to play every game to win. If we want to be champions, then we have to win them types of games (like Sunday’s).”
“It’s going to be difficult. Everton are a really strong team. They made some good signings in the summer and you know they’ve got strength all around the pitch so we have to come here and try and get the result.”