Luke Shaw praises the leadership of Paul Pogba ahead of a tough season for Manchester United

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is one of the most important players in the Premier League, according to teammate Luke Shaw. The 23-year-old left-back, fresh from scoring his first goal for the club, which turned out to be the winner over Leicester City in the Premier League opener on Friday evening is full of praise for the French FIFA World Cup winner. It was Pogba who opened the scoring in the match, albeit from the penalty spot.

Shaw was impressed with the performance of the Frenchman, who had only returned to training at the start of last week and played for 84 minutes in the opener, which could have seen fringe players and those not involved in the late stages of the World Cup this summer. United manager Jose Mourinho was boosted with the return of Marcus Rashford, Victor Lindelof, and Phil Jones ahead of the final pre-season match against Bayern Munich the weekend before the Premier League started. Romelu Lukaku, Marouane Fellaini, and Pogba all returned at the start of last week.

Pogba had been praised during France’s World Cup victory for his leadership and in team talks in the dressing room. Shaw, speaking to the official Manchester United website, spoke about Pogba being a big influence at the club this season within the dressing room, which could see the clubs new leader emerge as the season progresses. Shaw believes that the positive attitude of the squad will help United ready themselves for a big season and use the Frenchman to inspire them when things start to get tough. Shaw said:

“Paul doesn’t need a break. Honestly, he’s a beast! He’s unbelievable. He only came back three or four days before the game and it just shows how important he is for the team.

“He was captain and is a very, very big leader in the dressing room, as you’ll have seen that in the videos from France [at the World Cup] of course. “

Pogba spoke about Shaw after the pair combined to ensure Leicester City left the Theatre of Dreams without a victory once again. Shaw hit a sublime strike in the second half to double United’s lead against the Foxes, which was lucky as Jamie Vardy scored a consolation goal in added time. Both Shaw and Pogba have been picked on by the media over the past year or so, along with speculation suggesting that the pair had fallen out with Mourinho, which both have suggested was not the case this summer.

Pogba and Shaw seem to have a great relationship, which is great to see. The duo seems to be a target for the media at times, in their search for endless stories, which they seem to have the ability to invent from time to time. When Manchester United puts more than bread and butter on the table, it is the only area for these so-called journalists to invent speculation and make things appear much tougher than they actually are. Continuing to speak about Pogba, Shaw told the official Manchester United website:

“For me, he’s helped me a lot – we’ve spoken a bit. He’s a wonderful guy and an even better player on the pitch. Honestly, he’s so important for us. Like I said, he’s only been here for three or four days and to put in a performance like that was unbelievable.

“It’s nice to have him in the team and around the place – he cheers everyone up and gives good vibes. For me, he’s one of the most important players, probably in the Premier League – he’s got everything.

“I’m glad to be able to play with him and I hope we can share some good memories together this season.”

United travel to Brighton and Hove Albion for Sunday’s Premier League encounter, which will kick off at 16:00 BST. Both Shaw and Pogba will be seeking to continue their performances which saw Leicester City leave the Theatre of Dreams as losers. Last season, Brighton, as a newly promoted side, won this fixture 1-0, losing 1-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League. United also beat the 2-0 at the Theatre of Dreams in the Emirates FA Cup. United will need to ensure they leave the South Coast with three points on Sunday evening.

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