Jamie Redknapp: Paul Pogba is no Messi but he’ll run games at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp claims Paul Pogba is no Lionel Messi, but insisted the Frenchman will run games for Manchester United.

Pogba initially struggled to find his feet at Man United after joining for a world record £89m fee in August, drawing criticism for his lack of defensive urgency and goalscoring potency during his first few weeks.

However, a sensational Man of the Match performance – hallmarked by his first goal for the club – against Leicester City on Saturday silenced any sceptics in emphatic fashion.

Writing for the Daily Mail, Redknapp claimed Pogba will dictate games for Jose Mourinho‘s side in the future.

“Everyone jumps on the bandwagon when Paul Pogba isn’t quite at his best because of his £89million price tag,” Redknapp wrote.

“He’s not Lionel Messi, he isn’t going to go around four or five players, but what he will do is run games for Manchester United.

“Don’t forget, Pogba didn’t have a pre-season and it was understandable he fell a little flat after the adrenaline rush of his debut.

“As his touch map against Leicester shows, however, he dominated midfield and he also recorded some of his best stats in a United shirt.”

When you break the world transfer record for a player, their role goes far beyond acting as another cog in the system.

The Frenchman was, without doubt, Mourinho’s most fundamental target over the summer, and his role in the 53-year-old’s side became clear against Leicester – to act as the nucleus of United’s dynamic, ruthless attacking approach, delivering skill and strength in equal measure.

Make no mistake, this style stems from Pogba – the unequivocal axis of Mourinho’s line-up, the key difference between United being nothing more than a cluster of talented players and a squad constructed according to precise design.

United fans will be eager to see the 23-year-old continue to blossom in the absence of Wayne Rooney in the coming months.

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