Paul Pogba needs to perform like this for many years before being compared to Steven Gerrard, insists Rafa Benitez

by Harry Robinson

Former-Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, now in charge of Newcastle United, has insisted it will be years before Paul Pogba is comparable to Steven Gerrard.

Benitez was asked about comparisons between Manchester United’s key player and his former-player after the Spaniard’s Newcastle side were comfortably beaten 4-1 by the Reds.

Pogba was making his long-awaited return from injury in Saturday’s game, scoring once and assisting once in a fantastic display after being sidelined since mid-September with a hamstring injury.

“They’re different,” Benitez insisted. “Stevie was a top-class player for so many years.”

“He was very consistent and could make the difference in every game, with or without the ball.

“He was a top-class player. Pogba is a great player, but he still has to be consistent for years like Stevie was for 10 or 15 years.

“Pogba is not my player, so I don’t need to talk too much about him. He’s a great player, like the majority of the Manchester United players.

“But I’m concentrated on trying to improve my players.”

It’s a fair answer from Benitez. Pogba and Gerrard are very different players anyway. There’s little doubt that Pogba is a far superior footballer technically, with some of the best footwork and skill sets in the Premier League, but falls short in other categories.

Pogba is yet to have a full season of brilliance at United. Hopefully, this one will be it if he continues as he is doing. For years after this, he’ll have to do the same, over and over again, and make himself a legend at the club as Gerrard did at Anfield.

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