Manchester United's inability to keep hold of French youngster Paul Pogba has been a 'massive loss' for the Premier League leaders, according to Joey Barton, as the midfielder flourishes for both club and country.

The 20-year-old has been in superb form since joining Juventus in the summer transfer window of last year, scoring five times in Serie A, while his form has earned him a place in Didier Deschamps' senior France squad.

Pogba left Manchester United following the expiration of his contract, with Sir Alex Ferguson eventually deciding to allow his young charge to leave Old Trafford after it become clear he wanted to quit the club.

The France international struggled to break into the Manchester United first-team, and Ferguson claimed the club were better off without Pogba after he failed to show the club any respect in his pursuit of a vastly improved new contract.

Pogba has, however, shown Manchester United what he has been missing following a number of eye-catching displays for Juventus, and now for France too, and Barton says he is type of player Red Devils need in their midfield.

The Marseille star tweeted: "Pogba looks a massive loss for Man U. The type of player they seem to be crying out for."

Pogba was involved heavily for France in their defeat to Spain on Tuesday night, with the youngster going toe-to-toe with his illustrious counterparts, before being sent off for two quick yellow cards late in the game.

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