The Paul Pogba conundrum, one that never really seems to disappear. Since the Frenchman joined Manchester United just like ticket sales, he has had a number of ups and downs. His form has either been brilliant or abysmal. Everyone who follows football knows that Pogba has the ability to be one of the best players in the world on his day, yet for the Red Devils it just hasn’t happened for him. Perhaps that may be down to the role that the midfielder is given in the side.
José Mourinho wanted Pogba to play a box-to-box type but he needs a midfield partner next to him, willing to break up the play. This is not a central-defensive midfielder such as Nemanja Matic but more of an Ander Herrera type player who can foul, tackle and break up the opposition’s counter-attacks when Pogba decides to venture forward. Up to late April, Pogba had an 88%-win percentage when playing with the Spaniard, yet without him, it was just 44%. The World Cup winner, when playing for his home nation of France, has world-class team-mates around him.
N’golo Kanté and Blaise Matuidi help release the playmaker giving him a more fluid role to link up with the attacking trio. It was the same at Juventus, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal assisted giving him the freedom that he desired. Does he have that at Manchester United? Probably not. The Mirror has reported that N’golo Kante and Declan Rice should be Manchester United’s highest priorities if they’re to get the best out of Paul Pogba.
Pogba’s passing ability is second to none. He has the ability to mix it up with a variety of options when hitting a pass. However, to unleash this, the midfielder has to have a variation in attack. This is a part of the pitch that Ole Gunnar Solskjær needs to be bold in. When playing for France, Pogba has the opportunity to mix up his passing range. Antoine Griezmann can come short, Olivier Giroud often acts as a pivot and Kylian Mbappe can go past the last defender with his pace.
Recently, Pogba has just been playing to Romelu Lukaku with Marcus Rashford on a wing. This isn’t enough options to see the true Paul Pogba. Solskjær has to be bold if he wants the best out of the 26-year-old and play Anthony Martial, Rashford and Lukaku for example. Give the opponents something to be scared off, because if anyone can feed the forwards it’s Pogba.
Pogba’s World-Class passing:
Another option for Manchester United is to build the team around Pogba. Sky Sports have suggested that in order for United to succeed they must keep and focus on the midfielder. If they were to have two centre-backs and two defensive-midfielders sat in behind the Frenchman, this would leave him as the focal point of the forward play in the team. This would allow Pogba to focus on getting into the opposition box, where he is most dangerous. It’s a nightmare for opposition defenders as no one wants to step out and mark him. Hopefully, he can get the supporters excited and increase the sale of Manchester United tickets. The bottom line is, in order to get the best out of your best player you have to play him in his best position. The manager shouldn’t be asking him to play somewhere else. This isn’t a half average midfielder; this is a superstar.