- Paul Pogba’s dip in form for Manchester United is down to Jesse Lingard
- The England winger’s fine performances are keeping Pogba out of his preferred role
- That’s the view of former Arsenal star and pundit Martin Keown
- READ MORE: Man Utd told they need to seal transfer of Spurs star to solve problem area
Manchester United attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard’s fine recent form is to blame for Paul Pogba failing to reach his full potential at Old Trafford, according to Martin Keown.
The former Arsenal defender believes Pogba would be better suited to playing in Lingard’s more advanced role at the moment, but that the England international has made himself undroppable to manager Jose Mourinho this season.
Pogba, 24, has not been at his best for some time now, despite making a terrific start to the campaign, though that coincided with the team as a whole looking sharper in most areas.
United have since stuttered hugely and are a whopping 16 points behind league leaders Manchester City at the moment as the title race already looks done and dusted before the end of February.
Fans will be concerned, however, that a player that cost as much as Pogba did has failed to make more of an impact, particularly given what a world class midfielder he looked at previous club Juventus.
Keown says Lingard’s form is keeping Pogba from playing in the position where he could do the most damage, telling the Daily Mail: ‘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. ‘He cannot do that when he is made to play deeper but the form of Lingard is keeping him from that more advanced position.
‘People say Jose Mourinho does not develop young players but under his watch Lingard has been playing exceptionally well.’