Paul Pogba loves to attack.
What about defending? Eh, not so much…
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The world’s most expensive player cost Manchester United $128 million in the summer from Juventus but the French international has yet to fire on all cylinders in Jose Mourinho’s disjointed midfield.
Pogba, 23, has had different partners in midfield thus far but the partnership with Ander Herrera behind him and Juan Mata in front of him seems to be allowing the Frenchman to shake off the defensive shackles.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News ahead of United’s huge rivalry game at Liverpool on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBC Sports), Pogba revealed he’s still adapting to a new style of play.
“I try to adapt,” Pogba said. “I am a player who would rather go forward. The coach gave me instructions, I try to follow them. I have to retrieve balls and make defensive efforts. It cost me a bit to play differently, much like [Andrea] Pirlo. I have to play, be there to recover and play more for the team.”
This is an interesting message for Pogba to send out before the big United vs. Liverpool clash.
Pogba has no doubt had his struggles early on following his high-profile return to United and he’s often been asked to sit back and reduce his marauding runs from midfield which became his trademark with Juventus and France. However, with Herrera sitting deeper in recent weeks, we’ve seen Pogba power forward and in United’s last two home games against Leicester City and Stoke City he scored, hit the crossbar and created plenty of opportunities with delicate balls in behind defenses.
There’s no doubt Pogba’s best trait is running to support the attack from midfield and this may just be a little reminder for his manager.
“Hey, Mr. Mourinho, you paid all that money for me. Why don’t you use me in my best position?”
Slowly but surely that’s happening and United is yet to see the best from their start signing.