Nemanja Matic has heaped praise on his teammate Paul Pogba following the Frenchman’s scintillating start of the season prior to suffering an injury, insisting the Frenchman doesn’t receive the credit he deserves.
Pogba, alongside the indomitable Serbian, emerged as Manchester United’s most important player during the early stages of the campaign, claiming two goals and two assists in his first four games.
But his superb start was cruelly cut short by a hamstring injury sustained against FC Basel that could keep him out until after the November international break.
And Matic, when asked about Pogba’s role in the side, was quick to make note of how the 24-year-old deserves more credit for what he does on the pitch.
“He is a great player,” he said. “If you see how he works every day in the training sessions, the games he played didn’t surprise me – that he played well, that he scored goals.”
“He doesn’t have the credit that he deserves. I don’t know why. But I really enjoy playing with him, and I am sure that we will continue like this.
“It’s nice to have him in the team because he can defend, on long balls he is strong and he’s always dangerous in attack. I am sure that he will show all his quality this season.”
Make no mistake: Pogba was United’s best player by far prior to his injury. He was the heartbeat of United’s attacking splendour, liberated and invigorated by the presence of Matic behind him. We were starting to see exactly what the Frenchman could do with the right players around him, and it was nothing short of special.
Without him, there were concerns it all might break down. Where would United’s fluidity and cutting edge stem from?
Thankfully, the response from Jose Mourinho’s men has been superb: players like Marouane Fellaini, Romelu Lukaku, Ashley Young, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and of course Matic have all stepped up and continued Man United’s ruthless streak.
United were too over-reliant on particular individuals last season, but this time around it seems like everybody – even those on the bench – has the ability to make an important difference.