Considering he’s the most expensive footballer of all time, it’s easy to be underwhelmed with Paul Pogba’s Manchester United return thus far.
The Frenchman’s form seems to swing unexpectedly from game to game and numerous pundits have been critical. While the 23-year-old has been far from poor, there is definitely room for improvement.
One man who seems to have the solution is Graeme Souness. The Sky Sports expert believes the key to Pogba’s success in the Premier League is to imitate one rival in particular and it’s not somebody you’d expect.
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Writing for the Sunday Times, Souness believed copying Dele Alli is the answer to Pogba justifying his £89 million fee.
The 63-year-old penned: “I’m not convinced Paul Pogba has found a position he is entirely comfortable with within the systems Mourinho has deployed. I want to see Pogba play more in the mould of Dele Alli or my old teammate Terry McDermott - a raiding midfielder.”
While Alli is undoubtedly a great player, it’s certainly surprising that football’s most expensive man is being told to live up to a player who plied his trade in League One just 18 months ago.
Nonetheless, the Spurs star is a man highly adapted to the Premier League, while Pogba is still finding his feet.
Besides, the 20-year-old took to England’s top division like a duck to water. Not only did he amass 10 goals in 46 appearances, but the Match of the Day goal of the season award to boot.
At the key of Souness’ point also, is the position in which the 23-year-old has featured. The Liverpudlian is of the opinion that Pogba can cause much more damage as an attacking midfielder as opposed to protecting the back four.
It proves a reasonable comment. After all, Manchester United’s moneyman isn’t short of tricks and displayed in mid-week that he knows where the goal is when he has the chance.
As for Terry McDermott, it proves a comparison with which few will be familiar.
Nevertheless, the now 64-year-old was a formidable midfield partner of Souness at Anfield in the 1970’s and early eighties. Moreover, his capture of five league titles and 25 England caps proves this is a flattering, albeit unusual, contrast.
This weekend sees Pogba and United lock horns with Antonio Conte’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Such a blockbuster clash will prove a fantastic opportunity for the Frenchman to prove himself.
However, given Mourinho’s stifling tactics at Anfield on Monday, it’s hard to imagine Pogba will be allowed too much freedom in the United attack.
Besides, on Souness’ own admission, he believes that the Special One will be very happy with yet another goalless draw.
The Sky Sports pundit wrote: “Would Jose Mourinho take another 0-0 draw against Chelsea today, just as his team achieved on Monday last week? You bet. That Liverpool match was not great to watch but he won’t care about the viewing figures.”
As for how Pogba will fare, Souness has no answer. However, if the Liverpudlian is to be believed and Mourinho allows it, the 23-year-old should channel his inner-Alli amid the media attention at Stamford Bridge.
Do you think Dele Alli is a better midfielder than Paul Pogba? Have YOUR say in the comment box below