Paul Pogba enjoyed a truly sublime return to action for Manchester United during their 4-1 win over Newcastle United on Saturday in the Premier League.
The Frenchman, who had missed 12 games with a hamstring injury, returned to the starting XI against Rafa Benitez’s side and hauled his side out of a sticky opening period with an excellent piece of skill before sending a perfect cross over to Anthony Martial.
And his presence eventually translated into an emphatic attacking display, with the 24-year-old adding a goal on his return early in the second half.
Pogba’s numbers from the game shed light on what was an all-encompassing display in the middle from United’s talisman.
Pogba's game by numbers vs. Newcastle:
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 18, 2017
It is, of course, absolutely no coincidence that Man United returned to their pleasant habit of scoring four goals in a game for the first time in over a month with Pogba back in the starting XI.
And they could have had many more. This is the effect of having the Frenchman – slick, powerful, dripping with confidence, perfect with his execution – at the centre of proceedings. He invokes a kind of swagger and fluidity to United’s play that has desperately gone missing in recent times.
As a personal opinion, I would venture to say that Pogba is the best entertainer – the best player to experience live – in midfield since Paul Scholes. No wonder United looked shabby without him.