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Pogba must be flexible, says Rangnick after midfielder's complaints

March 15, 2022 Manchester United's Paul Pogba reacts REUTERS

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba must learn to be flexible and play in the position the team demands of him, manager Ralf Rangnick said on Friday after the Frenchman complained he was unsure of his role at the Old Trafford club.

Pogba said in an interview that he was not satisfied with his career at United, explaining that it was hard to find consistency when his position in the team was constantly changing compared to a well-defined role with the French national team.

"I heard he said he had played in different positions in the last couple of weeks," Rangnick told reporters ahead of Saturday's home game against Leicester City in the Premier League.

"Since the game against West Ham on Jan. 22, we have lost three strikers -- Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani, who is injured again and will be out for the next couple of weeks.

"With Bruno (Fernandes) or Scott McTominay missing, then of course somebody has to play a different role. He (Pogba) is a flexible player and can play (as a number) six, eight, and even 10. This is normal."

Rangnick also touched upon defender Harry Maguire, who has been struggling for form at United, being booed by England fans during a friendly win over Ivory Coast at Wembley Stadium, describing it as 'unusual' but something that would not be repeated at Old Trafford.

"He knows my position towards him, he's been a very valuable player for the team and the club, the captain," Rangnick said.

"I didn't understand what happened at Wembley, it won't happen in our stadium with the Red Army behind the team and our captain. He's been playing well for Manchester United and England in the last couple of years.

"I didn't watch the (England) game but I heard what had happened after they announced the starting line-up. Difficult to understand... For it to happen in an international game is pretty unusual."

Rangnick added that his players were being targeted because they were being compared with the club's greats.

"We know there are one or two players who have been criticised in the last few months. For example, Fred, a very important player, playing regularly for the team and Brazil. I watched his game and he did well," he added.

"Maybe it's got to do with the high expectations around this club and people tend to compare with former players and legends. Fred, Scott and Harry are important players with the right attitude."