Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on Paul Pogba for what was a sublime midfield display on his return to action for Manchester United against Newcastle United.
The Frenchman, having missed 12 games with a hamstring injury, returned to the starting XI and provided a wonderful assist for Anthony Martial to cancel out DeAndre Yedlin’s opening goal.
He then took control of midfield proceedings, moving the ball around the pitch with precision and intent, before duly adding his third goal of the season early in the second half.
And Ferdinand, speaking on BT Sport after the game, was quick to serenade the 24-year-old with praise at full time.
“He’s teasing the defenders [in the lead-up to Martial’s goal],” he said.
“That’s what you come to watch. It’s just a tantalising ball for Martial to attack. He then showed the desire to score the goal.”
For all the mania surrounding his return and the sheer relief at seeing United playing with joy and freedom once again, this was simply business as usual for Pogba.
This was his third Premier League home game of the season and third ‘Man of the Match’ performance, adding another goal and an assist to batter his opponent into submission.
And he wouldn’t have been surprised at any of this, and nor should we: this is exactly what world class players do every week. Pogba expects this from himself every time he goes out there.
Such an attitude and propensity for dominating games in such emphatic fashion will, no doubt, have a massive galvanising effect on the whole side.