Paul Pogba..

Martin Keown names the player he thinks is making Paul Pogba 'suffer' at Man Utd

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In the first few games of the 2017/18 Premier League season, Manchester United's Paul Pogba looked like he could go on to be a contender for the PFA Player of the Year.

He and the Red Devils were flying, with it looking likely that Jose Mourinho's side would be in the mix for the title.

Sadly, Pogba picked up a serious hamstring injury in the Champions League against Basel and as such, United's form dipped without their all-conquering midfielder.

Then, he made a triumphant return to the side against Newcastle back in November, scoring in a 4-1 win.

He was also the mastermind behind their brilliant win away at Arsenal in December, but in the early stages of 2018, his influence over the team has dwindled to the point where his place in the starting XI is under threat.

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Left out in the 2-0 win over Huddersfield, Pogba was then recalled to face Newcastle on Sunday, turning in perhaps his worst ever performance in a United shirt.

He was subbed off just after the Magpies scored to make it 1-0 and it really does beckon the question; where has it all gone wrong for the Frenchman?

Many have suggested it is the fact that Mourinho regularly deploys him in a midfield two alongside Nemanja Matic and Martin Keown has added a new interesting angle to this theory.



Writing in his Daily Mail column, the Arsenal legend believes the rise of Lingard into the United setup has really thwarted Pogba.

He wrote: "Pogba has suffered from the fact that Jesse Lingard is prospering in this Manchester United team.

"The Frenchman is at his best when he is in the final third hitting shots, going at defenders, being creative and making those buccaneering runs into the box.

"At Juventus, he would often have a midfielder like Andrea Pirlo sitting deeper which allowed him to express himself higher up the pitch.

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League

"He cannot do that when he is made to play deeper but the form of Lingard is keeping him from that more advanced position."

Essentially, Keown is saying Mourinho must pick between the two.

Does he persevere with Pogba and put someone like Scott McTominay in the XI in place of Lingard?

Or does Lingard continue to get his chance, with McTominay replacing Pogba on a more permanent basis? Just like he did in the Huddersfield game.

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Premier League
Martin Keown
Nemanja Matic
Paul Pogba
Manchester United
Jose Mourinho

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