LONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 16 – Paul Scholes says Manchester United’s world record signing Paul Pogba is not performing like the player the club bought for Sh13.3 billion shillings (£100million).
After making a bright start to life at Old Trafford, Pogba has struggled in his side’s two most recent games, the latest of which ended with United going down 1-0 to Feyenoord in the Europa League.
And while the post mortem on the Red Devils’ second defeat in a week largely centred on the underwhelming efforts of some of United’s fringe players given an opportunity in Holland – Marcos Rojo, Morgan Schneiderlin and Matteo Darmian, among them – Scholes trained his focus on Pogba’s ineffective display.
“It’s been a little bit of a struggle for him so far,” said BT Sport pundit Scholes. “Tonight, again, wasn’t his best performance. I think it will come. It’s still very early days.
“I don’t really know what position he’s playing at the minute. Has he got a position? Has he been told to play where he wants? He seems to be a little all over the place at times. I think he’s trying to do too much on the ball,” Scholes stated.
“He’s trying to beat three or four players. He’s running with the ball. He should keep it simple for now. That’s not the player Manchester United bought. They didn’t buy a Lionel Messi to go and beat five players and stick it in the top corner all the time. They bought a powerful, strong midfield player who can take the ball. He’s got skill, he can pass it forward, he can run.”
Pogba also came under fire from Sky Sports pundit and Sportsmail columnist Jamie Carragher for an ‘ill-disciplined’ performance in the Manchester derby last Saturday – a match United lost 2-1.
But Scholes has no doubts concerning the 23-year-old’s ability.
“If he just plays one-two touch, sticks the ball into Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) and runs, nobody can live with that,” He’s got so much pace, so much power.”
Despite their huge outlay on four players in the summer Scholes believes his former club might need to dip back into the transfer market to solve the Pogba conundrum.
Specifically, Scholes says the Frenchman is suffering for the absence of a truly creative force in United’s side; a playmaker in the ilk of Andrea Pirlo – the brilliant Italian who orchestrated matters in Juventus’s engine room during Pogba’s time with the Turin heavyweights.
“He needs a controlling midfield player next to him. They probably need to go into the transfer market for somebody like that. Michael (Carrick) is capable of it,” added Scholes.
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“But they still need that controlling midfielder, who can control where Paul goes and can control a game of football. I know he’s (Mourinho) happy with the four players he’s bought but they still need that type of player. A Luka Modric or a Toni Kroos (the Real Madrid midfield pair).”
“I think these players are available. I think Paul Pogba would be a much better player playing with these types of players.”