Paul Pogba needs time to adapt at Manchester United, says Jesse Lingard

Paul Pogba has been under massive scrutiny this season, ever since he arrived back at Old Trafford for a world record transfer fee, which at the time of writing, FIFA (of all people) are said to be launching an investigation int0.

Anyway, the Frenchman has proven to United fans what he offers to the midfield, as it is noticeable when he doesn’t play. I’ve especially found that Pogba looks better when he has pace around him- that Chelsea game a few weeks ago where Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard started up front together springs to mind.

That’s the thing with Pogba, he controls games and has done this season but it isn’t good enough for the ‘neutral’ fans and the so-called experts of the game, who want to see him fail. Graeme Souness said recently on Sky Sports that he fails to see what Pogba offers as a midfielder because he doesn’t score or assist goals. He fails to mention though that Pogba has created the most chances in the league this season and has also hit the woodwork the most too. The luck just hasn’t been there.

Don’t get me wrong, I do feel he could have done more at times, especially in big games, it feels like he’s trying too hard to justify that price tag. However, the sooner he forgets about that price tag the better because some people will state that he will never fulfil that price tag, which is fair enough as it is an obscene amount of money.

Jesse Lingard has told Sky Sports that Pogba just needs more time to settle, which I think is a realistic thing to say. I think it would be foolish to judge a player after one season;

“It’s obviously his first year [back] in the Premier League and it was going to take some getting used to, it’s the luck he’s had this season.

“We know he’s a world-class player, he’s helped the team a lot and I don’t see why he won’t go on next season and score the goals he’s missed this season.

“You see the power he has, the stature he possesses in midfield – no one can get near him and when he plays those through balls we’re always running for them, we need to finish more of them.”

I agree with Lingard, it’s his teammates at times that have let him down but Pogba will get the criticism because of the price tag.

The frustrating thing is people will use all kinds of statistics to show how ‘poor’ Pogba has been, but people fail to realise that statistics don’t tell the whole story. For example, someone will say “X has the same amount of assists as Pogba but has played 5 games less, what a waste of money”. Yet a statistic that shows how creative the Frenchman has been such as creating the most chances in the league, the Twitter experts ignore. I personally believe that the price tag has clouded a lot of people’s perspective because if United had signed him for £40 million perhaps, I think he would be getting a lot more credit than he does now.

Let’s not forget that not long ago, letting Paul Pogba leave for Juventus was ‘Sir Alex Ferguson’s biggest mistake’ and how United were so foolish, now he’s grown into one of the best midfielders in the world etc, etc. Now all we hear is how Pirlo made him look better than he is and now he looks average, Kante was sold for half of that £89 million etc, etc. The fact is no matter what, people will spin the narrative or agenda so they can slate United. This isn’t me doing a Jose Mourinho and installing a mindset of ‘the world is against us’ amongst our readers, it is just genuinely how I see it, especially after seeing it all unfold over last summer.

By no means, am I saying Pogba is justifying his price tag- to be honest I don’t know if he ever will. But he can’t worry about that, he just needs to play his own game and ignore the criticism that will inevitably come his way after a bad day at the office. I do think it would be rash to judge him after one season, and I’m sure the longer that Pogba is here, the more he will settle and we will start to see his true colours.


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