Ralf Rangnick has revealed that Paul Pogba has suffered another setback in his return from injury, but at least Edinson Cavani has assured the besieged Manchester United manager, he will stay at Old Trafford until summer.
The Uruguay international has now agreed to stay – by solving a problem for Rangnick – even though the situation with Pogba is starting to look more of a problem.
The French World Cup winner is recovering from a thigh injury he sustained in international service in early November.
But the prediction from Rangnick’s predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjær that he would be back before the turn of the year has turned out to be far from the goal.
Pogba returns from an injury in February
“A week ago I was told it would take another four or five weeks,” Rangnick said.
“I saw him this morning before the training session, but at the moment I do not know how long it will take. He is not training with the team yet.
“As far as I know from the medical department, it will take another three weeks, four weeks, and then when he is training fit, it does not necessarily mean that he is also match fit.
“It will probably take a few weeks before he is really able to compete for the first team.”
That would put Pogba’s return back to the end of next month at the earliest, as he settles what, at a reasonable estimate, has been an unfulfilled time at Old Trafford.
Cavani is committed to United in the short term
Rangnick can at least rely on Cavani for Monday’s third round of the FA Cup right with Aston Villa and beyond.
“I had a conversation with him yesterday, he came into my office and we talked for almost half an hour and he told me he would definitely stay and would like to stay until the end of the season,” he said. Rangnick.
“Not only because I told him he was going to stay or have to stay, he did it on his own behalf and he told me I can trust him to stay until the end of the season and provide his best and plays a role.model for the young players.
“If he had to play from the start, he’s available and he’s happy to play.
“Even if he does not play, he will try to be the best possible role model for the other players, and for me this is good news, because Edi is one of those players with his enormous amount of experience, with his mentality, his work ethic. “I think he could really be a perfect role model for the other players.”
Jones: ‘I feel like a footballer again’
Besides David De Gea, Jones was without a doubt United’s best player, and the 29-year-old, who has often been criticized during his 11 years at the club, looked emotional as he went down the tunnel after the match.
“It’s hard when a player is out for so long, for whatever reason,” he said. “All I want to say is that every time I represent this club and put on the jersey, I give absolutely everything. I put my blood, sweat and tears into everything I do for this club.
“I appreciate all their support [the fans] Give me. I am eternally grateful for that. It’s a wonderful, wonderful club to be in, and I’m grateful.
Jones, who has struggled to recover from disabling knee injuries, added: “It has been awful at times but it’s nice to be back with the boys. I feel like a footballer again and [to] feel the ball at your feet and the rain and the grass, it’s just a great feeling. ”
Rangnick reiterates his commitment to press
Role models are in short supply for United, with the mumble about locker room turmoil at the club and a series of overwhelming performances under Rangnick culminating in a home defeat to Wolves earlier this year.
The high pass energy play that was evident in Rangnick’s first match, a win over Crystal Palace, has long been abandoned by the players – if not their manager.
“This is the only way we can compete in this league and at that level,” he said.
“When you watch matches, even if they are not the top teams, they play with intensity, they play with physical, they play with energy and they sprint. That’s what we need to do. We need to develop into that kind of team.
“As I said after the first match against Crystal Palace, we showed a lot of those things, at least in the first half, and it’s about implementing this in the team in a sustainable way.
“This is our job. We have to do it with the players, and of course we have to develop the players, identify the players who are willing and able to do it for every game, and deliver exactly what we do. talked about.”