Pogba takes a step forward and delivers after Mourinho offers an olive branch to the restless Manchester United star

Paul Pogba received the captain's armband of the opening match of the Premier League against Leicester

A week that began with the agitation of Paul Pogba to move to Barcelona ended with the bracelet of the French captain for Manchester United.

It was no coincidence that José Mourinho appealed to the restless Frenchman in the absence of Antonio Valencia.

If United wants to convince Pogba that his long-term future lies at Old Trafford and extract the kind of performances he produced for France at the World Cup, he needs to know that he has a key role to play and the freedom to play it.

Paul Pogba received the captain's armband of the opening match of the Premier League against Leicester

Paul Pogba received the captain's armband of the opening match of the Premier League against Leicester

After learning that his agent Mino Raiola reached an agreement with Barcelona and the 25-year-old midfielder informed United's boss, Ed Woodward, of his desire to leave, United knows they have a battle on their hands to earn it.

This was an important first move and a reward for a player who had impressed Mourinho by agreeing to leave on Friday night despite only four days of training since winning the World Cup with France.

The United boss denied making a statement by giving the bracelet to Pogba. "No," said Mourinho. "Last season he was captain a few times, the captain is Valencia, he is not here and Paul is one of the options.

United knows they have a battle in their hands to earn it with interest from Barcelona

United knows they have a battle in their hands to earn it with interest from Barcelona

United knows they have a battle in their hands to earn it with interest from Barcelona

"It's his third season at the club, he was at the academy, he understands the culture of the club and he has a good relationship with the kids.

"Today is a good example of being available to help the team."

Still, for all its attributes, Valencia is not what you would describe as an inspiring leader. He was also chosen by Mourinho this summer to return to the pre-season out of shape before suffering an injury to the twin in California.

The midfielder had impressed Mourinho by agreeing to leave despite only four days of training

The midfielder had impressed Mourinho by agreeing to leave despite only four days of training

The midfielder had impressed Mourinho by agreeing to leave despite only four days of training

Nothing is unmovable and there is no reason why Pogba can not be delivered permanently if he responds as he did here from the moment he converted an early decisive penalty.

His performance was the highlight of a good night for United.

Sometimes, this summer has appeared as if the club was about to implode. Mourinho has been the chief pessimist, as an early start to the season approached without most of his best players available, and the transfer period was closed without the new signings he wanted.

The Frenchman needs to know that he has a key role to play and the freedom to play it

The Frenchman needs to know that he has a key role to play and the freedom to play it

The Frenchman needs to know that he has a key role to play and the freedom to play it

But, finally, he had most of his big names here. In addition to Pogba, on the bench were Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini. Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo and Valencia will return due to injury. The new signing of £ 52 million Fred impressed in his official debut.

The United team sheet will still have a pretty impressive vision when everyone is present and correct.

For now, however, they have a winning start and Pogba was the man to deliver it. Things are improving.

(function() {
var _fbq = window._fbq || (window._fbq = []);
if (!_fbq.loaded) {
var fbds = document.createElement(‘script’);
fbds.async = true;
fbds.src = “http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbds.js”;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(fbds, s);
_fbq.loaded = true;
}
_fbq.push([‘addPixelId’, ‘1401367413466420’]);
})();
window._fbq = window._fbq || [];
window._fbq.push([“track”, “PixelInitialized”, {}]);
.