On Wednesday, the midfielder from France was left out of the line-up against the Turkish outfit in the Champions League, while the English keeper played against the Turkish outfit.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clarified that the rotation of the squad was behind his decision to bench Paul Pogba and start Dean Henderson in the Champions League for Wednesday’s game against Istanbul Basaksehir.
As his holding midfielders, Solskjaer called Donny van de Beek and Nemanja Matic, lining up behind an attacking quartet of Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial.
Pogba started United’s last two games, last week’s 5-0 victory over RB Leipzig in the Champions League and Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Arsenal in the Premier League.
Solskjaer said that his decision to start with France as an international replacement was due to his desire to give his midfielder a rest.
It’s just man or game leadership [with Paul Pogba on the bench]. We have a lot of games, and we only rotated a couple of names,’ Solskjaer told BT Sport before the match.
“We want to go and win the game. We’ve had a strong start in the party, and that’s a positive reaction to the loss at the weekend if we can go and win tonight.”
Solskjaer also decided to send his first Champions League appearance to second-choice goalkeeper Dean Henderson, starting with David de Gea ahead of England internationally.
“”Solskjaer added,” Dean was fantastic at the games he played, and, of course, with a very, very sharp game coming up on Saturday morning, so that’s why we rotated a few positions, and Dean deserved his start.
When United resumes Premier League play on Sunday, when they face Everton at Goodison Park, De Gea will likely be back.
After a difficult start to the campaign that has them sitting in 15th place, United are in dire need of league points, albeit with one less game played than the teams around them.
That form has seen the position of Solskjaer at Old Trafford come into question again, with Pogba also criticized for giving away the penalty that led on Sunday to Arsenal’s goal.
Speaking ahead of the match against Basaksehir, though, the French midfielder defended Solskjaer.
Paul knows he should have done more with that particular incident,” the Norwegian said of the Gunners’ penalty.” He put up his hand. Football is like that-it’s high energy, high speed.
After a loss, every player is upset, himself too. From each of our players, we need continuity. Last season, Paul was going through a tough time with injury, this season with coronavirus, so I think we’ve seen a lot of good things lately and hopefully it will continue.