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Zlatan Ibrahimovic: This is why Paul Pogba has found it hard at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has claimed that Paul Pogba initially struggled to cope with his lofty price-tag at Manchester United.

The Frenchman, after rejoining Man United from Juventus for a world record £89m fee, failed to fully impose himself during the early stages of the season.

However Pogba, playing in a settled midfield trio containing Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick, has quickly blossomed into a truly devastating force under Mourinho.

And Zlatan believes that the 23-year-old’s initial chagrin was underpinned by the pressure of trying to justify his price-tag.

“He can play in so many positions,” he said. “The problem is not the position. The problem is not the tactical system.

“The problem is, in my opinion, somebody that comes from a different style of football and needs this time to be at his best level in football that is really difficult to play, especially for midfield players.”

“I think it is really difficult to play or adapt from different realities, but he is a phenomenal player. He has unbelievable potential.

“I think when Paul came, in his first period in United, let’s say the first month, I think he wanted to demonstrate too much that he was worth the transfer.

“He doesn’t need to demonstrate because everyone knows who Paul is, what he has been doing at Juventus for the past three to four years, what he’s able to do, and now he’s playing more like Pogba.

“He has nothing to demonstrate, he has nothing to show, he just needs to enjoy the game and help the team like he’s doing now. So now he’s playing like a mature player and you see the results.”

Pogba entered something of poisoned chalice back in August: joining United (a highly despised club) to play under Mourinho (a highly despised manager) as the world’s most expensive player was always going to yield gargantuan levels of scrutiny. Expectations were astronomical, and any faint sign of failure was greeted by furious derision.

And yet, game by game, Pogba has silenced the wall of noise, putting to shame those that wrote him off back in September with a series of bombastic, seminal displays alongside Carrick and Herrera.

United fans will know that the 23-year-old has even more to offer in the coming months.

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