Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has tipped Paul Pogba to make the long-term switch to a left-sided midfield role amid transfer rumours linking the Red Devils with Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez.
The Spain international has been a top performer for Atletico for many years now, but it seems he’s slightly fallen out of favour with Diego Simeone in recent times and is one of the biggest names on the market this summer.
Man Utd have been linked with Saul by ESPN and others, and Chadwick is a fan of the qualities he could bring to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
Despite being a versatile talent capable of playing a number of different positions, Saul tends to operate best in central midfield, so seems likely to come in as an upgrade on the likes of Nemanja Matic and Fred, rather than threatening Pogba’s place in the team.
Pogba has recently adapted well to playing out wide, and Chadwick expects he could now stay there after making that role his own.
“Pogba’s sort of made that position on the left his own. He plays it really well, he comes in and he’s got that license to roam and find those pockets inside,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.
“It doesn’t look like Ole’s going to play him as one of the two in those central roles and obviously there’s the speculation about Saul coming in from Atletico Madrid.
“Pogba looks comfortable with that, he’s not going to play in the number 10 role because Bruno Fernandes is going to play every game there. They’ve linked up together well and it does look like a nice little position for him.
“When he first started playing there last season it didn’t fill me with much hope because he’s not much of a runner, but he’s made that role his own and you can’t argue with the stats he’s got this season.”
Chadwick is a fan of Saul as well, and concedes that midfield has been seen as something of a problem area at Old Trafford for some time now, even if it came into focus more after a disappointing performance away to Southampton at the weekend.
“Saul’s a hugely gifted player, so it’s good to see that United are in for him,” Chadwick said. “It would be another top player to bring in and improve the squad. It would be a good signing to get through the door after a wonderful start against Leeds and maybe a bit of a lacklustre against Southampton.
“He’s not a Sancho, he’s not a Varane, but he’s a gifted footballer who’d add strength in depth to the squad.”
He added: “I think it’s not just come from the Southampton game, it’s an area of the team that’s had a lot of criticism. A lot of people have pointed at that area as a bit of a weak point.
“I think it’s the first time we played Fred and Matic together for a long time. The energy of McTominay could probably have made a difference, obviously Matic has been a brilliant player over the years but he’s not as progressive with his passing and not someone to run forward like McTominay.
“McTominay, Fred and Matic are all very good but they’re probably not three you’d look at as the kind of central midfielders who can win a Premier League title. Maybe this is the moment the right player’s become available and hopefully we can get him in in the next week or so.”