Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho revealed his admiration for Manchester United’s Paul Pogba during a half-time team talk when the two sides faced-off against one another earlier this season.
Mourinho signed Pogba at United back in 2016 from Juventus in a move which cost the Reds £94.5m, as per TransferMarkt.
In light of Mourinho’s marquee signing, the pair always seemed to struggle to hit it off both on and off the field and had what was perceived to be a strained relationship.
Mourinho’s failure to get the best out of Pogba was arguably one of the main reason’s the Portuguese gaffer eventually got the boot from Old Trafford in 2018.
It didn’t take Mourinho long to get back into work after he replaced Mauricio Pochettino less than 12 months after departing United.
It has been revealed during Spurs’ popular ‘All or Nothing’ fly-on-the-wall documentary that Mourinho highlighted Pogba as a potential threat when the two sides faced each other back in June.
United travelled to Spurs back in June to play what was both side’s first game back after the league was halted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The points were shared after the game ended 1-1, but one player who shone that night was Mourinho’s ex-main man Pogba.
The Frenchman had spent the majority of the season on the sidelines after suffering from an ankle injury. However, with the help of a three month break, Pogba was set to make his long-awaited return against Spurs and although the 27-year-old didn’t start the match, it was clear he was going to be introduced at some point during the second-half.
Spurs went into half-time during the game against United 1-0 up after a Steven Bergwjin shot was helped into the back of the net by an error stricken David De Gea.
During half-time, as revealed in the club’s All or Nothing documentary, as quoted by The Mirror, Mourinho said: “I think, for sure, sooner or later Pogba is coming. Every time Pogba has the ball, he will have the vision, he will have the quality of pass.”
“So I can imagine Pogba from a position like that [deep right of midfield] to get the ball and to make a beautiful pass here for Marcus Rashford to go.
“So Pogba will improve the quality of passing, so we need to press him. And we need to control what is far from him.
“They want to press all the time. You need to measure the risk, don’t make mistakes, don’t attract the pressure.
“One thing is to play short – one pass, another pass and then we go – another thing is pass here, pass here, pass there because you are attracting the pressure.
“There is a lot of space to counter-attack and to kill them.”
Mournho’s final message to his side as they were heading back onto the pitch was: “Don’t let Pogba shoot! If he approaches the box, press the ball if he shoots!”