Former Tottenham Hostspur midfielder Jermaine Jenas believes Jose Mourinho should play Michael Carrick in order to get the best out of Paul Pogba at Manchester United.
The Frenchman has been a mercurial performer since arriving at Old Trafford for a world record £89m fee in August, interlacing moments of brilliance with episodes of inefficacy in midfield.
Pogba has featured twice alongside Carrick (against Fenerbahce and Manchester City), producing domineering performances throughout both encounters.
Speaking about Mourinho’s decisions, he insisted Carrick ought to accompany Pogba in midfield.
‘They need to find a way to get the best out of him [Pogba],” he said.
“When he played at Juventus, he played with Pirlo, Vidal and Marchisio. He was the one who had the free role to do whatever he wanted.
“That’s why I don’t understand why they don’t play Michael Carrick. He is the only one who can dictate the game and have any balance to the way he plays.”
Pogba has, since leaving United in 2012, always played alongside midfielders of a similar ilk to Carrick. The aforementioned trio of Andreas Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio, alongside Blaise Matuidi for France, all espouse a mutual quality of total composure on the ball, as if they’re most comfortable in life with a ball at their feet.
It goes without saying that the 35-year-old fits this mould perfectly. His success has always been predicated upon generating control in midfield, and this, in turn, gives Pogba licence to rampage forward and inflict damage.