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[13] Graeme Souness says Paul Pogba is a country mile from being a great player, and plays like a schoolboy

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  • [13] Graeme Souness says Paul Pogba is a country mile from being a great player, and plays like a schoolboy

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    "Paul Pogba is capable of great things, but a country mile from being a great player. That distinction is due to his inability to grasp the responsibility that comes with being a central midfielder. He is 24 now and an £89m signing, yet he still doesn’t understand what is required to play that position properly. Mourinho is clearly not happy with aspects of Pogba’s game. Maybe that will make the message finally sink in, but I doubt it. Pogba simply cannot be one of two in central midfield. You cannot rely on him. Against the lesser teams you’ll get away with it, but against the better teams you’re not going to. For Mourinho and United, it’s about finding the right position for him, but he isn’t a playmaker. If you’re looking for a central midfielder who recognises danger, fills spaces and doesn’t drift out of position, he’s not going to do that for you. When he’s asked to do a job centrally, he’s forever straying towards the touchline trying to get on the ball. A central midfielder should never be in areas wider than the penalty box, unless they are out there to confront danger defensively. Pogba empties that central area far too readily. He will do something clever in the final third, but will be absent when his back four are under the cosh. He plays like a schoolboy running after the ball in the playground."

    "There’s lots I like about Pogba. He’s powerful and athletic with good technique, but I’ve not seen a different, improved Pogba since he walked back into Old Trafford in August 2016. Three goals from 22 club games this season isn’t good enough. Somebody with his athleticism and physique should be well into double figures every season. United need a better mix there to keep the ball better, make them a better watch and more threatening, with better quality into their strikers. They need a craftsman such as Christian Eriksen at Tottenham. Romelu Lukaku has faced some criticism, but he’s not been getting chances put on a plate. He could do with an Eriksen-type doing that for him. United are crying out for a clever passer. Juan Mata can do it, but he can’t get around the pitch the way that Eriksen does or the way that Mourinho wants his players to."
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