Paul Pogba will be looking to produce a crucial performance for Man Utd in the FA Cup final against Chelsea this weekend, but Frank Lampard isn’t yet convinced by him.
The French international certainly hasn’t produced consistently this past season, as while he had six goals and 12 assists in 36 appearances, Jose Mourinho replaced him early in games and left him out through the course of the campaign.
It’s a far cry from the player that was developing at Juventus and was considered one of the top midfielders in Europe, but he has certainly been the subject of plenty of criticism this season already.
Lampard has echoed those thoughts, insisting that the 25-year-old should be dominating games given the quality that he possesses and has specifically criticised the more extravagant things that he does which evidently don’t impress him.
“I don’t know what Pogba is. He makes bad decisions but then does fantastic things which must wreck Jose’s head,” he is quoted as saying by The Mirror. “Mourinho tried to embarrass him out of it and I worry Pogba did not get it.
“Pogba is naturally more talented than I was, he would run all over me and has better feet, but there’s no point dribbling in your own half. All that ‘flick and roll of the studs’, I’m not an advocate of that. A lot of young players see it on YouTube and think it’s amazing but I don’t like it.”
After re-joining United for £89m in 2016, as noted by BBC Sport, it’s debatable as to whether that price-tag plays a part in the midfield ace being judged to a different standard than other midfielders.
More is certainly expected of him, and while Mourinho could also be criticised for not deploying him in his most effective role on the left of a midfield three, as we saw in Turin, it remains to be seen if things improve on Saturday and next season.
If they don’t, the likes of Lampard will have legitimate grounds on which to continue to criticise him, as Pogba has to develop and mature into one of Man Utd’s leading figures in order for them to be successful on various fronts moving forward.