Former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has given his thoughts on Paul Pogba’s debut season under Jose Mourinho, noting that the Frenchman has been an important presence on the pitch.
The 24-year-old, ever since arriving over the summer for a world record £89m fee, has been on the receiving end of criticism from all sectors of the footballing world, with his price-tag propping up as a constant source of calumny.
And Vidic, speaking earlier this week, was quick to emphasise the important role commandeered by the midfielder so far this season.
“It depends what the people expect from him,” he said.
“I think the problem is the market is crazy at the moment – to buy the player you need you have to pay to crazy money.
“Paul is a great player, his ability is not to score 25 goals a season. He is about creating situations all over the field and score maybe 10 goals, 15 goals.
“His potential and actual quality, he can change his game and can become a player that scores 20, 25 goals.
“I think it’s difficult when people see Pogba and expect him to do something which is not his game.
“I think he has done some good stuff this season, of course he didn’t give his best but he played 40 matches which is important as well; his presence on the pitch.
“As a midfield player, you need someone who is powerful, tall and a presence in the middle of the park. I’m sure next season he will be even better.”
The title of ‘most expensive player of all time’ can weigh extremely heavily on a player’s shoulders. You are, according to the casual observer, required to produce more than any other player in the world, generating earth-shattering moments on a weekly basis. And this, of course, is exactly why Pogba has received such ruthless levels of denigration since day one.
But he – along with Mourinho and fellow teammates – will know that his function at the club is far subtler than that. He is here to act as nucleus of Man United’s steady regeneration under the Portuguese, providing character and consistency at the heart of midfield in equal measure. With this in mind, nobody can criticise Pogba for how he has performed so far.