Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has explained that the increased competition for places in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad seems to have done wonders to get the best out of Paul Pogba.
The France international has endured a difficult time at Man Utd since his move back to Old Trafford from Juventus in 2016, and many fans will no doubt still feel he’s ultimately been a bit of a disappointment overall.
However, it’s also pretty clear that Pogba has looked in fine form in recent games for United as they’ve climbed up the table to emerge as genuine title contenders against Liverpool.
Chadwick feels the added competition in the squad is benefitting Pogba in particular, but he also says he sees it in the improvement from some other players too.
There’s no doubt Pogba will have noticed the recent signings of Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek in his position, while Fred and Scott McTominay have also formed a solid defensive midfield partnership.
It makes sense that this might have forced Pogba to up his game a bit, as Chadwick suggests.
“Pogba’s done really well in the last few games, particularly the Aston Villa game,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside. “He’ll probably be annoyed at himself that he didn’t take a few chances in the box, but I think all the club’s top players are benefitting from more competition in the team.
“Pogba’s obviously realised that that number ten position is no longer really his because Bruno Fernandes is going to start every game when he’s fit, and Fred and McTominay have done well in those holding roles, Matic is having a good influence as well.
“Pogba’s definitely put more of a shift in and I think that competition for places is bringing out the best in players, with that central midfield full of players pushing each other to get the best out of each other.
“At left-back as well you see Telles and Luke Shaw pushing each other, and Eric Bailly as well looking the part while Victor Lindelof is out injured. Cavani’s come in and scored goals, so there’s certainly competition bringing the best out of everyone and Pogba’s top of the list after his performances in recent weeks.”