Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen has questioned Paul Pogba’s suitability to the Premier League, while predicting that he won’t extend his stay with the club beyond the summer.
Pogba returned to United from Juventus in a club record £89 million ($116m) deal in 2016, having earned a repuation as one of the top midfielders in Europe at the Allianz Stadium.
The Frenchman has since recorded 39 goals and 51 assists in 231 games for the Red Devils, but has only managed to pick up League Cup and Europa League honours, with injury problems preventing him from reaching his full potential.
What’s been said?
A hamstring issue forced Pogba to miss this season’s festive period, and he has only managed one goal in 25 appearances to date, with his latest underhelming showing coming from the bench in a 1-0 loss to Everton.
Meulensteen worked with the 28-year-old during his first spell in Manchester, and has suggested that his talents are not best suited to the Premier League.
The Dutch coach, who worked as Sir Alex Ferguson’s No.2 between 2007 and 2013, thinks the time has come for Pogba to move on, as he told Stadium Astro: “Failure is a big word, but has Pogba lived up to the expectations? I don’t think so.
“He knew what the expectations were when he came back, to compete for the Premier League and the Champions League.
“Not everything has clicked with the players around him or the system, does he actually suit the Premier League?
“What frustrated me a little bit is Paul has never really outspoken his commitment to United. He’s never come out there and said he’s going to stay and bring United back to where they belong.
“There’s always been issues over his future and that doesn’t sit well with the fans. It’s not just one player though, there’s many more issues that need to be addressed before United are going to get back on the right track.
“Since he’s come back it hasn’t really happened for him or Manchester United. I think he will leave now.”
Where could Pogba end up?
Pogba’s current contract is due to expire on June 30 and there has not yet been any sign of him agreeing on an extension at Old Trafford.
The World Cup winner has said he is waiting before making a final decision on his future, but has also hinted at a possible switch to Paris Saint-Germain, who have been strongly linked with the midfielder in recent months.
Real Madrid have also been credited with an interest in Pogba and a potential return to Juve has been mooted, but he would welcome a move to Parc des Princes to link up with more of his international colleagues.
“Why not? It’s always nice to play with your team-mates in the national team and club,” he has said when asked if he can see himself playing for PSG one day.