Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand has suggested that the penny could finally drop for Paul Pogba as he represents France at the 2018 World Cup.
Pogba goes into the summer tournament in Russia as one of the nation’s most key players, despite another fairly underwhelming season at Man United following his return in 2016 after a four-year stay at Juventus.
The-25-year-old’s six goals and 12 assists in all competitions throughout the 2017-18 campaign weren’t enough to please critics, who believe he hasn’t yet fulfilled the price United paid to take him back to Old Trafford.
Ferdinand, a BBC pundit for the World Cup, believes the weight on Pogba’s shoulders could prompt a positive change and compared him to Cristiano Ronaldo, who he watched develop at the club after his arrival from Sporting CP in 2003.
“You’d be a fool not to see he has immense talent in all areas of his game but it’s about putting that together.
“Sometimes you have to be angry. When Pogba is angry and hyped – and lets that filter out on the pitch – you see a better Pogba,” the ex-defender continued.
“There’s a time in every player’s life where the penny drops that it’s not just about getting people off their seats with a trick. It happened to Cristiano. Now it might happen to Paul – in [the World Cup].”
It’s looking likely that Pogba will have at least one new midfielder to link up with next season at United, with Shakhtar Donetsk defensive midfielder Fred set to be announced as the first signing of the summer in the next few days.
One thing’s for sure, Pogba will be needing to start performing more consistently if he is to keep Jose Mourinho’s faith in him as the heart of the team and keep the critics away – the World Cup could be the things he needs to help him transition into August at the top of his game.