Paul Pogba has been reminded football fans of the player he can be since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.
Unrecognisable from the moping, disillusioned figure he has cut throughout much of his second spell at Old Trafford, the France international is at last on course to justify his hefty price tag.
Pogba has scored four goals and contributed as many assists in five appearances under Solskjaer, underlining his capacity to lead the Red Devils by example when circumstances favour him.
Almost a month on from the day he returned to his former club as interim manager, the Norwegian didn’t take long to get the enigmatic midfielder back to his best.
Pogba, however, believes the catalyst for his resurrection stems from a simple source.
“Before the coach came back, I was in the shadows, benched. And a football player on the bench, I’m not sure if he can accept that,” he said, per the Sun.
“Now I’m taking pleasure playing again. I’m doing what I love. And we’re winning so indeed I am always smiling.”
Perhaps even a decent share of neutral fans are excited to see Pogba back on song, especially given his unrivalled tendency to entertain when confidence is running high.
This is what makes the 25-year-old special - a unique player with all the attributes of a complete midfielder.
So, who does Pogba, a player with such an array of strengths, idolise - or even try to emulate - in the modern game?
Thanks to an interview with Stadium Astro, we have an intriguing answer.
When asked who he admires, Pogba couldn’t merely stick to one era, saying: “I love football, I love watching players, maybe people would be surprised.
"When I was younger I used to look up to strikers. Now, I'm a midfielder, I look to midfield players.
"I learn from Yaya Toure, [Andres] Iniesta, Xavi, Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick.
"I love to look at midfielders to make myself, Paul Pogba, with all the best qualities of the other ones.
"Now I look at Kevin De Bruyne… [Luka] Modric… [Toni] Kroos.
"All those players now, they're playing and I love looking at them and I try and learn from them, It's always good for me.”
Despite De Bruyne being widely considered the best midfielder in the Premier League, it’s a touch surprising to learn Pogba genuinely looks up to him.
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