Paul Pogba was ridiculed on social media after Manchester United’s drubbing at the hands of Chelsea.
He wasn’t the only one to receive criticism, but the Frenchman’s £89 million price tag makes him the perfect player to single out whenever United don’t play well.
“His stint as the playmaker was quickly abandoned and, in a game United fans would have hoped he'd grab by the lapels, Pogba didn’t,” Manchester Evening News reporter Samuel Luckhurst assessed.
The 23-year-old has produced just two performances this season that suggest why Man United were prepared to pay a world-record fee for him, in the 4-1 win against Leicester City and in last week’s Europa League win against Fenerbahce.
His brace against the Turkish opponents left Jose Mourinho mocking the media for dubbing Pogba the Premier League’s “worst” player, but in this Jekyll and Hyde season, we definitely saw Edward Hyde at Stamford Bridge.
The former Juventus man didn’t create a single chance. He had just one touch in Chelsea’s box, and didn’t record a single shot on target. Going forward, he was anonymous.
However, Pogba produced three stats that suggest Mourinho was completely wrong to play him in the No. 10 position against his old team.
Pogba set two season records
The Frenchman’s passing accuracy was 89.7 per cent and his passing accuracy in the final third of the pitch was 87.8 per cent, according to the Mirror.
Both of those numbers are season’s best for Pogba in the Premier League in their respective categories.
He also made four tackles, matching his best tally for the season. He also recorded four tackles in the 3-1 defeat to Watford in September.
What does this tell us about Pogba? For a start, that he’s more comfortable linking play rather than actually creating chances.
He’s also happy to carry out the dirty work, getting stuck in and making tackles.
Those are the responsibilities of a box-to-box midfielder - not something tasked with staying at one end of the pitch.
The sooner Mourinho realises this, the better for Pogba and Man United.