Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has sent a pretty clear message to manager Jose Mourinho about Paul Pogba’s form for the club.
Having just seen the France international take the World Cup final by storm, Ferdinand thinks it’s clear there’s a top player in there somewhere, even if United fans are yet to really see him.
It’s no secret Pogba has struggled to look at his best for the Red Devils since joining the club from Juventus in the summer of 2016, and many have questioned if Mourinho is really the ideal manager for him.
The Portuguese tactician is known for being something of a conservative, cautious, and defensive-minded coach, and that clearly doesn’t fit in with how Pogba likes to play.
At Juventus, the 25-year-old played with freedom and shone as a creative talent, just as he did in a more advanced role in France’s World Cup final win over Croatia, when he scored the third in his country’s 4-2 triumph.
Ferdinand believes the onus is now on Mourinho to get this big player performing at club level as he’s often found himself questioning if the manager’s style is holding him back.
GOAL! Griezmann lays the ball off to Pogba on the edge of the box, his first shot is blocked but the ball comes back to him and he curls a measured left-footed strike into the corner pic.twitter.com/kjcJRmwVEV
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) July 15, 2018
‘Pogba was immense – especially in the second half. The pressure was on and he has to come to the fore. There’s a huge price tag to his name,’ the former England defender told BBC Sport.
‘He has had a tough season in terms of the media and people from within the game calling him out in a Manchester United shirt.
‘It’s down to Jose now to unlock this Pogba we saw at the World Cup because he was responsible, he stood up to a lot of hard tests in midfield and was a talisman for this team.
Pogba's pass to Mbappe which led to his goal… pic.twitter.com/1gwJrq9Unc
— World Football Index (@WorldFootballi) July 16, 2018
‘For some reason the jigsaw puzzle hasn’t been put together properly in a Manchester United shirt.
‘The way the team plays, I think ‘are they getting the ball into him in the right areas?’ He’s not receiving the ball quickly enough.
‘Is he being put in the right positions? These are the questions a manager has to work out.’