Former France international Marcel Desailly has urged Paul Pogba to leave Manchester United to fulfil his potential despite the midfielder’s upturn in form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The 28-year-old has had his ups and downs since returning to Old Trafford from Juventus in summer 2016.
Often used out of position by Jose Mourinho, the French playmaker was often criticised for the lack of impact and a somewhat lackadaisical attitude.
Even during Solskjaer’s early days in the dugout, Pogba struggled to emulate his Juventus form, which brought him under heavy scrutiny on more than one occasion.
And while he has often tended to perform in patches for the Red Devils, the FIFA 2018 World Cup winner has barely put his foot wrong for the national team.
Anchored by his midfield partner N’Golo Kante, Pogba was a star as France coasted to the World Cup title in Russia.
When it comes to holding the ball and distributing it across the field, very few players can match the Frenchman’s skills.
Despite giving the impression of being too lazy from time to time, Pogba is undoubtedly a genius who possesses football audaciousness to unlock defences with slick passes and unparalleled vision.
Pogba’s rise to prominence
As the coronavirus crisis forced the Premier League to shut down the stadiums, the Red Devils supporters have not got to see their star performing at his pinnacle first-hand.
Nevertheless, Pogba has found his feet under Solskjaer this term, growing increasingly vital to United’s tactics and attacking movements.
Paired up with Bruno Fernandes, he has been a metronome all United fans have been hoping he can be.
Pogba’s best showings come from advanced positions, and Solskjaer has managed to adjust his set-up accordingly to allow the Frenchman to hit his stride.
During his first couple of years at United, the former Juventus midfielder played closer to his own goal, which effectively shut down his attacking potentials.
Using Fred to mirror Kante’s role in Didier Deschamps’ France team, Solskjaer has got the best out of what we have seen from Pogba since his return to the Premier League.
Having cleared the Frenchman of his defensive duties, the 48-year-old has turned him into a cornerstone of United’s purple patch in 2021.
After scoring the winning goals against Burnley and Fulham back in January, Pogba picked up a nasty hamstring injury that kept him out of action for a month.
However, he has shown great mental fortitude and maturity many United supporters were adamant they would never see from the Frenchman.
Since recovering from injury, he has gone from strength to strength, nudging the Red Devils past AC Milan in their Europa League last-16 tie and laying on three assists in four Premier League outings.
It is now safe to say Pogba is currently the best version of himself, a true architect of play and focal point of Solskjaer’s game plan.
Desailly offers a different opinion
Desailly’s belief that his compatriot is not in the right place is well out of order.
He told beIN SPORTS (via Daily Mail): “He needs a good city. He needs a good team who play for him. He needs a coach who understands him,”
“[Didier] Deschamps readjusted Pogba during the World Cup. He changed his system to 4-2-3-1 for Pogba. – Solskjaer has done the same at United.
“Out of four elements to make Pogba the best… if only two of the elements are there, it is not enough for him to express himself.
“There is two out of four [at Manchester United], so probably he has to go somewhere else to gain an extra one to potentially be able to show that consistency and that talent that he has and shine in the football world.”
Based on everything Pogba has done for United this year and vice versa, Desailly’s comments are wide of the mark.
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