Paul Pogba could captain Manchester United in the future, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 25/01/19 10:37am
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Paul Pogba possesses all the qualities needed to captain Manchester United.
The World Cup winner has flourished under Solskjaer, scoring five goals and providing four assists following the Norwegian's return to Old Trafford.
Pogba was previously stripped of the vice-captaincy under former manager Jose Mourinho, following reports of a bust-up between the pair.
However, Solskjaer believes the France international has leadership qualities and could become club captain one day.
"Definitely, yeah, because I know the boy from before, and he is a leader," said Solskjaer.
"He's a character, he influences people, and you've seen the videos from France, and he cares, and he really wants to be successful.
"He knows he can't do it by himself, it's a team game, and he's a character that brings so many good things with him when he's enjoying himself, I have to say.
"You see the personality. He'd love playing football, he's a larger-than-life character, that's just the way he is.
"When the performances come as well, that marries together as a good leader and you see what it meant to him winning the World Cup in what France broadcast.
"So, for me, yes, he's captain material."
Antonio Valencia was appointed club captain under Mourinho and has been retained in the role by Solskjaer, despite playing just once under the Norwegian.
Ashley Young has taken the armband in recent matches, with Valencia struggling for fitness, but Solskjaer insists the Ecuadorian is still his first-choice.
He said: "Ashley's wearing the armband, yes, because Antonio's struggled with fitness as well, in and out.
"Antonio's still the club captain, but Ash is wearing the armband when he's playing.
"I've never been a fan of 'You're this and you're that'. Once in a while, it's to give, David [De Gea] was captain one of these games when Ash didn't play.
"So there's 11 captains out there, really, it doesn't really bother me. I was captain for Norway, and quite a few times for United, but I still don't tell my kids I was captain of Man United or Norway - but once in a while, you are."
When asked what qualities players need in order to captain Manchester United, Solskjaer added: "There's all different types of captains.
"I've had all sorts of captains. You had Eric [Cantona], who was captain when I came, who wasn't very outspoken, but he led by example.
"Then you get, of course, [Roy] Keane, who was a fantastic captain. Gary [Neville] was a different captain, he was more vocal, and [Ryan] Giggs at times was also a good captain, in the way of when he spoke, you listened.
"He didn't speak a lot, Gary probably spoke the most of my captains. But it's just a way of… you bring the culture, or you set the standards, it's a culture-bearer, and Eric was the big man when the Class of '92 came through.
"We've had some iconic captains here with Steve Bruce and Bryan Robson. Big personalities. I think that's important, that you're not afraid of standing in front of your team-mates and putting them in their place if you have to.
"And I have to be fair to Ash, who's now our skipper, he's maybe one of the last old-school ones, he sounds like Rio [Ferdinand] and Gary and all them."