Pogba influence surpasses Messi

English Premier League

Pogba, 25, returned to United in August 2016 for a then world-record £89.3 million (R1.55bn) deal from Juventus but was often made the scapegoat for the club's struggles during the tumultuous tenure of former manager Jose Mourinho.

The France international looked a shadow of the player that convinced United to lure him back to Serie A under the rigid tactical system of the Portuguese coach.

And his brother, Florentin, recently admitted he was considering leaving the club for a second time if Mourinho remained in charge at Old Trafford.

However, since Mourinho's sacking in December, which led to the surprise appointment of Solskjaer, no player has contributed more goals or assists in Europe's top five leagues.

Since the Norwegian's first game in charge in the Premier League on December 22, Pogba has directly been involved in 11 goals for the Red Devils.

Most league goal contributions since 22 December:

  • Pogba (Manchester United): 11 goals
  • Son (Tottenham): 10 goals
  • Zapata (Atalanta): 9 goals
  • Cavani (PSG): 9 goals
  • Messi (Barcelona): 9 goals

With six goals and five assists in eight league outings, Solksjaer admits he's building the team around the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner and allowing him to express himself on the field.

"We have taken the shackles off him and given him more freedom," Solskjaer said, as per Marca.

"He still works incredibly hard for the team but we want him to work his magic further up the pitch where we know he is more dangerous.

"He is a special player who has the ability to win games on his own."