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Solskjaer tells Pogba to back up lavish praise

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Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 14, 2021. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) /

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warned his side not to get carried away with a 5-1 win over Leeds United to start their Premier League season as he challenged Paul Pogba to perform consistently at his best.

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The Frenchman provided four assists in the rout of Marcelo Bielsa’s men in front of a near-capacity crowd at Old Trafford for the first time in 17 months last weekend.

Pogba’s future is a source of speculation as he enters the final year of his contract at United with Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid linked with picking up the midfielder for free at the end of the season.

“That’s negotiations with Paul’s representatives and the club,” Solskjaer said on Friday, when quizzed over the possibility Pogba will extend his stay in Manchester.

“For me and Paul, we work together every day here and we keep on trying to improve the team and to enjoy ourselves.

“When you win games you enjoy yourselves more and we’ve just got to make sure that we don’t make this one game and everyone flies off. You know we get big headlines and all the praise we get.

“It’s about bringing more energy to the next one and being even better so one swallow never makes a summer.”

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The flying start bolstered hopes that Solskjaer’s men can finally compete for the Premier League title for the first time since Alex Ferguson retired as manager in 2013.

United have shown their ambition by splashing over £100 million ($137 million) on Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund and four-time Champions League winner Raphael Varane from Real Madrid.

Sancho made his debut as a substitute against Leeds, while Varane was paraded in front of the United fans for the first time.

Both are in contention to start Sunday’s trip to Southampton, as is Edinson Cavani after the Uruguayan returned to training this week following his break after playing in the Copa America over the summer.

“Edinson’s joined in, Raphael’s joined in and we’re getting fitter and fitter,” added Solskjaer.

“You’ll see on Sunday (who starts). They’ve worked well. They’ve had minutes. We’ve had a very good week.”

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