Paul Parker encourages Jose Mourinho to play Paul Pogba at No.10

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker has encouraged Jose Mourinho to deploy Paul Pogba as a No.10.

The Frenchman was taken off during defeats to Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United following disappointing displays in a midfield pivot – a role that clearly doesn’t suit his qualities.

And debate this week has naturally centred around Pogba’s position, with some blasting the midfielder for failing to deliver whilst others have pointed the finger at Mourinho for using him incorrectly.

Speaking ahead of Man United’s clash with Huddersfield Town, Parker noted that perhaps using Pogba as a No.10 would provide a solution.

“The game comes very easy to Pogba and I just wonder, if long-term, he might be better suited in the number ten role, where he can do what he likes more or less in that final part of the pitch,” he said.

“Pogba’s at his best when he can be creative and make things happen going forward. Remove the shackles and get him in positions where he can go at players one versus one, or has the freedom to run in behind and ask questions of the opposition defence that way.

“We know already that he gets on well with Romelu Lukaku, so why not try and get them nearer to one another on the pitch too, and see how that works.

“Footballers are commodities and it’s a very different game to when I played. But somehow, Mourinho has to get Pogba playing in a way that makes the team better, and in the end, I think he will.”

Mourinho has used Pogba as a No.10 on a few rare occasions – last year’s 0-0 draw at Anfield was one of them – but clearly doesn’t see the role, reserved normally for nimble forwards with a low centre of gravity and powerful acceleration, as a natural vocation for his £89m.

If anything, Pogba is too good to use in a position that often gets bypassed in tight games, along with being far too good to be sitting at the base of midfield beside Nemanja Matic.

Surely Mourinho, given his experience of watching Pogba in both roles, will feel that using Pogba in an area somewhere between the two would work best.

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