Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has sung the praises of Paul Pogba ahead of Manchester United’s game against Liverpool. Our manager coached Pogba when he was a teenager in our academy and has spoken of his fondness for the midfielder now he’s an adult.

I have worked with Paul now for a few years. I had him when he was a kid as well and I’ve always said I enjoy managing Paul; I enjoy coaching him, I enjoy talking to him and enjoy challenging him because he is a winner. He wants to be better, he has listened, and I think we can see that he is enjoying himself here as well. It is important that we treat each other with respect and I try to treat everyone with the same amount of respect, but there are players that you know from when they are younger, and it is easier to get a bond with them.

During Thursday night’s 6-2 victory over Roma in the Europa League semi-final, Pogba played out of his skin. Having been rested in our league game against Leeds, the midfielder showed his importance to our side. What made his display all the more remarkable was he was fasting during the game, only eating at full-time. Solskjaer knows his agent keeps talking up a move away from the club but Ole is keen for him to stay.

He knows my feelings about him and that I want him to stay. It’s about creating an environment that we thrive in, a competitive environment and a team who challenge for trophies. He and Edinson are winners but they are also human beings and it’s important that they enjoy coming in and enjoy playing for this team. If we can play like tonight [Thursday] against Liverpool, and they can feel our progress, our chances are probably bigger to keep them.