Whilst assessing Pogba’s unflattering performance in the 1-0 defeat to rivals Arsenal for Astro Super Sport, the ex-United first-team coach agreed with Roy Keane’s brutal assessment of the star’s career.
Meulensteen, who acted as a first-team coach from 2007-2013 under Sir Alex Ferguson added that Pogba doesn’t work ‘hard’ enough, with the ace’s displays ‘slow’ and ‘laboured’.
The Dutch coach didn’t just say that Pogba doesn’t deserve to be branded ‘world class’, but added that he doesn’t warrant that honour in ‘any shape or form in this moment’.
Pogba certainly looked slow as he failed to track Hector Bellerin’s run before recklessly giving away the penalty that decided the game.
Meulensteen appeared to whole-heartedly agree with Keane’s assessment of the superstar:
“I can see where Roy Keane is coming from after spending so many years under Sir Alex Ferguson.”
“I’ve worked with Sir Alex Ferguson and he told his players you can have all the talent in the world but it’s working hard and hard work that brings that quality to the surface.”
“Hard work is a quality. For me, no he hasn’t worked hard enough. It’s too slow, it’s too laboured, there is no urgency about it and other teams can capitalise on it.”
The former Brondby and Fulham boss also discussed the Frenchman’s performance against Arsenal:
“We spoke about the importance of Arsenal coming through on the left, this is what I was fearing, players running off Pogba, dragging Shaw out and running off Pogba to get spaces to hurt United.”
Then came the killer blow in which Meulensteen stated that Pogba doesn’t ‘deserve’ the ‘world class’ tag, with the midfielder failing to live up to ‘expectations’:
“I keep saying it all the time, he is a very talented player, people talk about him being world-class but I’d never use that word so easily.”
“I know players past and present, they deserve the accolade of being world-class. In my opinion, Paul doesn’t deserve that in any shape or form in this moment. I don’t think he lives up to expectations.”
“I think we need to expect even more from him but that only comes from working hard for a start. That rubs off to other players.
“Working hard but also not working hard. They start to question those performances.”
“You go back to his Juventus time, he played in a very experienced team with a lot of strong personalities and leaders.”
“That’s one thing that United are lacking and he should be one of them but he isn’t. He’s not a leader. The only one that I can see that has some kind of leadership is Bruno Fernandes.”
United re-signed Pogba in the summer of 2016 for a then world-record fee of £89m as per BBC Sport, but the midfielder has been largely underwhelming since returning to the Manchester outfit.
The 27-year-old’s made a total of 173 appearances for the Red Devils, but has only shown the quality to match his superstar profile in brief spells, with Pogba inconsistent for the side.