Nine games into Paul Pogba’s second spell at Manchester United, we’re not entirely sure what all the fuss was about.
The Frenchman, who became the world’s most expensive footballer in the summer, has scored just one goal this season, and he hasn’t set up any either.
For £89 million, United and their fans can be forgiven for expecting a little more from the man hailed as a potential Ballon d’Or winner.
But 80 misplaced passes in seven Premier League games and a passing accuracy percentage of 83 just isn’t going to cut it.
There’s plenty of time for the 23-year-old, who showed what he can do in France’s 1-0 win over the Netherlands last week, to turn things around. And we sure hope he does - it would be a shame to see a player with such talent fail to live up to the potential.
French magazine France Football attribute Pogba’s struggles to him being rushed into action too quickly. After spending the entire pre-season in the United States, Pogba made his second United debut just 10 days after signing.
“How could it be otherwise?,” France Football ask, per 101GreatGoals. “How could we think that with an almost non-existent preparation, the Red Devil could be physically able to put in a performance at the highest level?
“There was lack of important ground work between the formalisation of the transfer and his first game of the season – just ten days!”
Rooney comes to Pogba's defence
Pogba’s United teammate, Wayne Rooney - himself not averse to criticism lately - has a different explanation. The 30-year-old believes the midfielder is still adapting to English football.
If that sounds odd, just consider Pogba made only seven first-team appearances in his first United spell.
“Paul is a fantastic player, I think he is working hard and he is doing well,” said Rooney, via the Telegraph. “It is a different league to what he’s been used to – he didn’t really play last time when he was here so this is all new. He is a fantastic player and he will shine for us this season there is no doubt.”