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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 15 February 2019

Paul Pogba out of the 'shadows' since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived at Manchester United

French midfielder has been central to United's revival under the Norwegian, scoring four goals and assisting another four in the past five matches

Paul Pogba has said he is "always smiling" since the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United manager and the midfielder has credited the Norwegian for his return to form.

Pogba, United's most expensive player after returning to the club from Italian giants Juventus for £89 million (Dh420m) in 2016, has been integral to Solskjaer's perfect start, scoring four goals and creating four assists in five matches.

The French World Cup winner's pivotal contribution to United is in stark contrast to his role under former manager Jose Mourinho, with whom Pogba had a volatile relationship and which saw the 26-year-old often consigned to the substitute's bench.

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"Before the coach [Solskjaer] arrived I was in the shadows, on the bench, and I accepted that," he said after the impressive 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. "It is a pleasure to play again. Now I am always smiling."

Solskjaer, who is reported to be in the running for the United manager's job on a permanent basis, has won all six games since his arrival.

Pogba, who had been linked with a move away if Mourinho had stayed, said a lot of that can be put down to the fact Solskjaer knows the club inside out having played for them and then been on the coaching staff.

Pogba was at United in his first spell at the club in 2010 when he first encountered Solskjaer, who had moved on from playing to become reserve team coach.

"It's a pleasure to be reunited with him," said Pogba. "I knew him from the academy and the reserves, when his nickname was 'Supersub'.

"He is doing a really good job. As a player he knew the mentality of this club. He has come back to help us and it is going very well."

Updated: January 15, 2019 02:05 PM

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