Paul Pogba is one of the biggest names in world football today and one of the best players at Manchester United. The crafty midfielder can both help in defence and join the attack, depending upon the situation. However, it is on the attacking end of the pitch that he truly shines.
One can see a difference in his role for the France national team or at Juventus in the past and for Manchester United. It does appear that he has a bit less freedom at the Theatre of Dreams and is expected to be much more disciplined when it comes to the defensive side of things.
Pogba is 28 years of age and has spent a big part of his prime with the Red Devils. But with just a year left on his current deal, the French World Cup winner could be on his way out of the club in the near future.
Pogba recently spoke about the roles that he has played over the course of his career and how they are different from each other. While speaking with L’Equipe and as reported by Manchester Evening News, the midfield maestro said about his role at Juventus:
“It’s true that at Juve it was different from Manchester United.
“We were already playing with three midfielders [at Juventus], in 5-3-2. I had the freedom, I had to be in the box, to attack. It was an obligation. In Manchester, I have the freedom to go into the box, but the priority is to play and defend.”
He also compared his role for the French national team with his role for Manchester United:
“We play in 4-2-3-1, also a diamond. I am a little more in the transmission, in the construction. But I have more freedom than in Manchester to enter the box, to make runs forwards.
“At the same time, when you have [Antoine] Griezmann, Kylian [Mbappe], you don’t want to enter their spaces, you don’t need to.”
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Does Ole Gunnar Solskjaer need to change Paul Pogba’s role at Manchester United?
There has always been a feeling that Pogba has never quite managed to show his best at Old Trafford on a consistent basis. There have been occasions when he has looked brilliant. But those instances have not been as regular as they are with the France national team or were with Juventus.
It is true that he does have more defensive responsibilities with the Red Devils and while that might not be the only reason, it is certainly one of the major reasons behind why he has not found his best form at the Theatre of Dreams following a then world record transfer from Juventus back in 2016.
Now, it remains to be seen whether he remains at the club beyond this summer. If he does, Solskjaer should consider making a few tweaks to Pogba’s role if possible in order to get him playing his best football.