The Frenchman is receiving endless criticism for not hitting the ground running in the Premier League but manager Jose Mourinho has a huge decision to make which could benefit the former Juventus midfielder.
Being the most expensive footballer in the world at the age of 23 must be overwhelming. Considering the way in which Paul Pogba was paraded by Adidas with music videos and commercial shoots in New York, this youngster is without question the world’s fourth most marketable football star in the world.
On another note Pogba won’t complain. He has more money than he ever could have dreamed of when raised in Lagny-sur-Marne, a suburb of Paris, and is playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world.
However, expectations that followed Pogba from Turin were impossible to fulfill.
As mentioned previously, Pogba is a 23-year-old. He’s coming from a different league after being with the most dominant team before joining a club, considered by many as a work in progress, in another country.
At the current rate of increased transfer fees, the amount spent on Pogba will not be deemed as ridiculous in 3-4 years time when the record is broke yet again. But if the France international wishes to quieten those of a pitiful knee-jerk nature, only aware of things with a short-term perspective, he must perform to an elite level quickly or near enough.
The last week has been shambolic for Manchester United and fans want answers.
Still unaware of his best team, formation, or midfield combination, Jose Mourinho must face up to the fact he is not free of criticism either. Something has got to give when a manager shoehorns certain players into a line-up. Wayne Rooney, a has been, unless played in his natural position as a centre forward, is being utilised as a midfielder.
On another sad note, Pogba has spent the majority of his second spell at United alongside Marouane Fellaini. And as Paul Scholes quickly pointed out after Thursday’s shocker in Rotterdam, he needs more help.
“At Juventus he played in a three in midfield and he was sensational. He played in a two with France in the summer and wasn’t great. He has played in a two so far this season and hasn’t been great.
“What I would say is that he is the only one who has been trying something. The other night (versus Feyenoord) wasn’t his best performance but he was the one player giving everything and the one player wanting to create something.
“We want to see the Juventus Paul Pogba. He played in a brilliant football team there with loads of experience around him, not just at the back but in midfield as well.
“To get the best out of him, I think you have to play him in the three.”
It’s hard to disagree with that but Mourinho did set up with a midfield three against Watford on Sunday and United lost a third consecutive game. The problem being, Rooney is not a midfielder and United have better options available than Fellaini.
Pogba’s major strength at Juventus consisted of picking up the ball in the midfield third and carrying it into attacking positions. Thus far, in this United team, he’s had much more of the ball in his own half than in opposition territory.
To allow this and, therefore, get the best out of Pogba, he requires reliable cover alongside or in behind. The main issue is Rooney not facing the axe as Mourinho, much like the way his current team looks, has been too gutless to do anything about it.
In short, Rooney is holding United back. The England captain as a number 10, or any other midfield role for the matter, doesn’t suit United.
It’s up to Mourinho now. For United and Pogba’s sake, it’s going to take a big call but the former Chelsea boss is renowned as the best for making those decisions.
The young €100 million signing must take priority. Not a 30-year-old past his best.