Ever since completing his big-money move from Juventus in the summer, Paul Pogba has failed to impress for Manchester United.
Many expected Pogba to come and turn the fortunes around for a United side that lacked creativity for almost the entirety of the 2015/16 season. To make the prodigal son return to Old Trafford, Mourinho had to shell out the most amount any manager has in the history of the game.
But, given the current scenario, it’s fair to say that the United board have unnecessarily shelled out a staggering £89 million. Pogba is not looking the part for his new employers and is turning to be a liability for them.
Criticisms have showered in ever since his second debut against Southampton, but now after four games in, his performances do not seem to have improved. Recently, he was subject to added scrutiny from former Liverpool captain Jamie Carragher.
In his column in the Daily Mail, Carragher wrote:
“This isn’t the time to make snap judgements; this isn’t even the time for anyone to start panicking. But what is clear, after events this last week, is that Jose Mourinho has a riddle to solve with Paul Pogba.
“I described Pogba’s performance in the Manchester derby on Monday Night Football as him being like a kid on the schoolyard. He ran all over the pitch, without thought or discipline, and was never in the one area he should be: central midfield.
“When United paid Juventus that world-record fee to bring Pogba back to Old Trafford, it wasn’t for him to try to replicate the magic tricks of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale; they signed him to become the game’s dominant midfielder, an all-action hero.
“From what I have seen so far, he doesn’t have the tactical awareness to play in a pair in midfield. Mourinho will know that better than anyone now. To get the best out of Pogba, there has to be change.”
Carragher makes an extremely good point about Pogba not being suited to partner somebody at the heart of midfield. The Frenchman is a player who likes to have the ball at his feet for long spells of time.
He isn’t one to sit deep and dictate terms from the half-way line. A 4-2-3-1 is defeinitely not the formation Pogba can strive in and a shift to a 4-3-3 looks to be on the cards for Mourinho if he is to bring the best out of his world-record signing.