Football

Souness disapproves of Pogba's £100m return to United.

Graeme Souness: £100m Paul Pogba isn't the "finished article"

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Opinion is split over Paul Pogba's big-money return to Manchester United.

Whilst some believe the Frenchman will justify his £100 million-plus move in shirt sales alone - which is a valid point - others insist he hasn't shown enough on the pitch to command such a fee.

United will ultimately care little about those criticising their pursuit considering they are now being tipped for Premier League glory.

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With Jose Mourinho at the helm and the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and - you would assume - Pogba at his disposal, anything is possible.

But for Liverpool legend Graeme Souness, United are paying well over the odds for a player who has flattered to deceive on the big stage for Juventus.

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Indeed, the Sky Sports pundit points towards Pogba's performances against Barcelona and Real Madrid in the 2014/15 Champions League campaign as evidence of how he fails to impress against the bigger sides.

He wrote on his Sunday Times column: "For £100m, you expect the finished article; a game-changer.

"Paul Pogba's not that. He has the potential to be a top midfield player, but that still wouldn't put him in that price bracket.

"I've seen him live for Juventus in a [Champions League] final and semi-final against Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively and haven't seen him getting hold of a game by the scruff of the neck."

Juventus FC v UC Sampdoria - Serie A

Souness, who also claims Pogba was "unconvincing" at Euro 2016, makes a sound argument. History tells us that players who cost upwards of £70 million are those who can make a difference when it really matters.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez are three of such individuals. The La Liga trio all commanded huge transfer fees but duly delivered by scoring a number of important goals and winning silverware.

Can Pogba emulate such an effect at Old Trafford? Well, only time will tell, but the France international faces being labelled a flop if he doesn't.

Where Mourinho is concerned, though, Pogba and United are a perfect fit.

Leicester City v Manchester United - The FA Community Shield

According to Sky Sports, he said: "United is the perfect club to bring him to the level he wants to be. The Premier League is the perfect habitat for that.

"If you want to be the best player in the world, if you go to Barcelona or Real Madrid you are in trouble because I don’t think the other two big guys (Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo) will let you do it.

"Here he has the conditions to develop in the most seen championship worldwide, which is incredible, with a team that wants to bring Manchester United to the top again."

If anyone can prise the best out of Pogba, it's Mourinho.

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Paul Pogba
Steven Gerrard
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Football
Liverpool
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo

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