Jose Mourinho has worked with some of the best players in world football throughout his managerial career.
The glittering list of stars who have played under the Special One including Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard and Sergio Ramos is only set to grow during his tenure at Old Trafford.
He has already added Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba to his star-studded Manchester United squad this summer at the expense of more than £150 million.
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But premium talent comes at a premium price and that is exactly what Mourinho believes he has acquired during his first transfer window as United boss.
One player in particular has commanded his attention from the moment he was appointed in May and having finally got his man, the Portuguese is convinced he has signed one of the best in the business.
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The world-record £89 million fee to bring Pogba back to the club arguably places him in the same regard as Lionel Messi and Ronaldo in terms of market value, but Mourinho insists the France international’s impact will be as significant albeit more subtle than that of the Barcelona and Real Madrid duo.
“Can Paul score Ronaldo and Messi’s goals? Not even 25 per cent, I believe. I believe he cannot score 20 goals in a season,” said Mourinho, as per The Mirror.
“So if to be the best player in the world means to score a lot of goals, that’s not the point. But he’s one of the best midfield players, maybe I could say the best midfield player, in the world.
“I’m not worried with an ‘impact’ and I don’t think he’s worried with that. I see him very calm, I see him very comfortable in this role of a star player and feeling very well under that skin.
GOALS DON'T MEASURE INFLUENCE
Mourinho has suggested that even though Pogba rarely produces the same level of sheer individual brilliance as Messi and Ronaldo, his quality should not be assessed based on his goal tally.
“I don’t see him under pressure, I don’t see him in training trying to do things to show that he’s different, to show that he’s better,” he said.
"I think his impact will be something very natural, a progressive impact of contribution to improve the team, because that’s what he’s here for - to win trophies.
“I’m not expecting, the first time he touches the ball, to dribble past five guys and score a wonder goal. I expect the first time he touches the ball to make a correct pass, a good selection of passing, a good choice, a good simple execution and a fluid game.
“When you speak about the best players in the world, you go immediately to the ones that score a lot of goals.
“You don’t give a golden ball [Ballon d’Or] to a goalkeeper. You gave it to [centre-back Fabio] Cannavaro once, because in that season he was the captain of Italy, the world champions.”
Mourinho has indicated Pogba is ready to make his second Manchester United debut against Southampton at the Theatre of Dreams on Friday evening having missed the opening match against Bournemouth through suspension.
The United boss stopped short of penning Pogba’s name into the starting line-up due to a lack of match fitness, but confirmed he will play some part against the Saints.
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