Manchester United should be freeing Paul Pogba of his defensive responsibilities to truly allow the midfielder to flourish at the club, according to former-captain Wayne Rooney.
The Frenchman has shown his astonishing quality in central midfield at times, but when freed by starting on the left side of a three-man midfield, Pogba has come into his own.
Manager Jose Mourinho gave Pogba a chance there against both Everton on New Year’s Day and against Stoke City in January. He was named Man of the Match on both occasions.
“For me, Pogba is a classic box-to-box player,” Rooney said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
“He can do everything really well. If he is in a role where he doesn’t really have to think about his defensive role, he can really do damage. He is that talented.“
The glimpses of Pogba’s genius have been available with frequency. But most United fans are confident that they’ll really be able to see Pogba bossing games with more regularity if he’s played on that left side.
Some would suggest that that can’t happen yet. A midfield three of Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera alongside Pogba doesn’t inspire enough confidence. Herrera will likely be upgraded significantly in the summer.
Similarly, the depth of quality in United’s attack, with Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku, Juan Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, means a three-man midfield would reduce the opportunities for those players to play.