Martin Keown blames Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard for Paul Pogba’s ‘suffering’

by Marwan Harraz

Former Arsenal man Martin Keown has surprisingly blamed Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard for Paul Pogba‘s recent struggles.

Whilst most fans have attributed the Frenchman’s downturn in form to Jose Mourinho‘s tactics, the pundit opted to point the finger at the Englishman.

Lingard has been in good form this season, moving from an outsider to one of the first names on the team sheet as he continues progressing.

His performances have been so good that Mourinho has even decided to move him inwards from the wings to allow him to play in his preferred position as an attacking midfielder.

Keown has at least acknowledged Jesse’s form but has blamed it for the reason why Pogba isn’t at his best as he’s unable to foray forward as much.

According to Give Me Sport, Martin wrote in his Daily Mail column: “Pogba has suffered from the fact that Jesse Lingard is prospering in this Manchester United team.

“The Frenchman is at his best when he is in the final third hitting shots, going at defenders, being creative and making those buccaneering runs into the box.

“At Juventus, he would often have a midfielder like Andrea Pirlo sitting deeper which allowed him to express himself higher up the pitch.

“He cannot do that when he is made to play deeper but the form of Lingard is keeping him from that more advanced position.”

There may be some truth to Martin Keown’s words as fans have struggled to understand why Jose persists with the 4-2-3-1 formation when the Red Devils have enjoyed themselves in the 4-3-3.

United’s best games have happened when the latter formation was employed but of course it means that the lack of an attacking midfielder would leave Jesse Lingard on the bench.

There’s possibly room for him on the wings but with Alexis Sanchez’s arrival and Anthony Martial‘s undroppable form, it’s unlikely he could feature there.

Jose Mourinho has to be careful to not fall into the same trap his predecessors did in trying to fit all of the club’s stars in the same line-up in expense for proper balance and eye-catching fluidity.

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