Paul Pogba has expressed his delight with recent praise sent his way by Manchester United legend Eric Cantona.
The 24-year-old begun this season in emphatic fashion, claiming two assists and two goals in his opening four games, before suffering a hamstring injury that left him out for two months. His return has seen Man United net four goals twice in as many games.
And the former No.7, who also encouraged the club to sign Paris Saint Germain’s Javier Pastore, recently labelled the Frenchman as the current ‘brain’ of Jose Mourinho’s side.
“I think he is a very creative player,” he said.
“Every team when you have a good player injured suffers of course. He is as important as [Luka] Modric for Real when he is injured it’s not the same team and you can see that in the last five or six years every time he is injured the team isn’t the same.
“Pogba has the same influence in the team he is the brain of the team.”
Speaking earlier this week, Pogba was notably delighted to receive such kind words from the former United skipper.
“I really liked that,” he said. “He’s a legend at United. It makes me want to improve, to keep on working. It means I have to focus more on helping the team as much as possible.”
Midfielders tend to reach their peak during their late twenties but the Frenchman, with four Serie A titles and a Europa League triumph under his belt, has already achieved more than most.
And perhaps the most exciting thing about Pogba is that he is by no means the finished article. The raw ability and nous he has with the ball at his feet is frightening, and many – Garth Crooks, who somehow makes a living from writing about this game, is a concrete example – perceive his bubbling, confident demeanour as reflective of somebody who already believes he is at the top with nothing left to prove.
Wrong. Because beneath the effervescence and pomp lies a true warrior, determined to improve and become the thriving heartbeat of this United side. And he will, no doubt, continue to do exactly that – yet you imagine nothing, even a Ballon d’Or, would stop certain people from screeching about his hair and dance moves.