Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will start Paul Pogba in the Red Devil’s Champions League group game at Valencia on Wednesday, challenging the French international to show his full potential and win back his place.
Mourinho left Pogba out of his starting line-up for the second time this week as his side recorded their biggest victory in 13 months, 4-1 over last-placed Fulham.
But the absence of Pogba remains a hot issue for Mourinho who has complained about his inability to compete with Manchester City and Chelsea in the transfer market only to leave his record signing on the bench.
“He has to play with the same mentality as the team is playing,” said Mourinho when asked how Pogba can win back his place.
“Paul can be a fantastic player. He has the potential to be a fantastic player and against Valencia (on Wednesday) he’s going to start.
“Against Valencia he is going to have a fantastic football game to play in and show everybody how good he is.”
In Pogba’s absence United made an electrifying start with three goals in the first half.
After 13 minutes, Ashley Young received a short pass from Marcus Rashford and beat Denis Odoi far too easily as he cut into the Fulham area before curling the ball into the top corner.
The second goal, after 28 minutes, came on the counter-attack as Romelu Lukaku slipped the ball to Rashford who picked out Juan Mata, arriving speedily into the Fulham area, with a perfect pass which his Spanish team-mate steered left-footed into the corner.
There was time for United to add a third after 41 minutes, from a clever corner routine that saw Mata and Jesse Lingard exchange passes before the former crossed into an empty six-yard area where Lukaku gratefully converted the easiest of chances.