Ian Wright thinks Jose Mourinho needs to manage Paul Pogba better and ensure the midfielder plays to the best of his ability at Manchester United.
Pogba’s displays have been scrutinised in recent weeks and he was taken off in the defeat to Newcastle on February 11 after an ineffectual peformance.
There have been reports suggesting Pogba is unhappy in the position he is being asked to play, while others have linked him with a move to Real Madrid in the summer.
However, former Arsenal striker Wright said on The Debate that Mourinho must get more from his £93.25m midfielder.
He has cost a lot of money for a reason and he is somebody that is going to drive the club forward with the ability he has got, Wright said. That is why you pay the amount they did. You have to get him playing well and that is Mourinho’s job. He has an unbelievably talented player that he has to manage better than he is at the minute.
I know he is going through a bit of a confidence crisis. When I saw him play against Newcastle I thought that’s not the Pogba I know. The one I know is the one who took the mickey out of England at the Stade de France [France beat England 3-2 in June 2017] with unbelievable play that he is capable of doing.
It’s a massive investment and I know you want people to perform to the maximum of their ability but you have to be careful with certain individuals and the way they are.
He is somebody that should be able to get the team together and bring the team and drive them through. His confidence has taken a bit of a knock. He needs to be loved, playing, and playing with freedom.
After missing last weekend’s FA Cup win over Huddersfield due to illness, Pogba is set to return to the Manchester United side as they face Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash on Wednesday.
He should also be in contention on Sunday when United host Chelsea, live on Sky Sports.
Former Chelsea midfielder Dennis Wise agreed with Wright’s assessment of Pogba’s form, saying: He is lacking confidence. There is a lot on his shoulders. He might be a baby [in terms of age] but you want to see him get the ball and dominate games. He is capable of doing it. I just don’t think he has, whether it’s where he is playing or the positions he is in.
He gives this impression that he is so relaxed but you are thinking ‘get someone by the scruff of the neck, pull your team-mates over, be a leader and don’t be a nice tippy-tappy player’. I want him to grow as an individual and turn into a real bloke who pulls the team about. I don’t think he does that and I think that’s what he is missing.
You don’t need to be dragged off or sat down. His confidence will go. You need to show him you are the leader, get in there and show me, I believe in you. He is just suffering. He is a top player.