As Manchester United made a very successful return to the UEFA Champions League with a comfortable 3-0 win over Basel in Group A, there was one glaring negative to take away from the game. It concerned their record signing, Paul Pogba, who picked up a hamstring injury that looks as though it will keep him out of action for the next few weeks. His early season form has been brilliant, and while his layoff could have been much worse, he will still be missed by Jose Mourinho. Their next game sees Wayne Rooney make his way back to Old Trafford as Everton make the trip to Manchester. We look at three players who could potentially replace Pogba in the Red Devils’ midfield.
The most like-for-like change that Mourinho could make would be to bring Ander Herrera back into the starting XI alongside Nemanja Matic. The Spaniard’s playing style is most similar to that of last season’s world record signing where he too looks to make a nuisance of himself in both penalty areas.
After playing a part in 31 Premier League matches last season, the 28-year-old has only participated in two so far this term including just five minutes against Swansea City. The signing of Matic from Chelsea has limited the amount of first-team chances for Herrera, but he would be the perfect replacement for Pogba in this match. His endless work rate and energy would counteract that of Idrissa Gueye for Everton who is known for the same attributes.
Ander Herrera is an excellent top-flight centre midfielder and should be preferred over the other options by Jose Mourinho after picking up the Manchester United player of the season accolade last season. He has nothing left to prove and has been unfortunate to not feature for the Red Devils in the opening games of the 2017/18 campaign.