Richards, Shearer compare Pogba to ‘off the scale’ Man Utd flop

Date published: Wednesday 17th November 2021 8:29 - Joe Williams

Man Utd midfielder Paul Pogba runs with the ball

BBC Sport pundits Micah Richards and Alan Shearer have compared Paul Pogba with Man Utd flop Juan Sebastian Veron.

Pogba looks likely to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season on a free transfer with little progress made over a potential new contract at the club.

The France international has had an up and down time at Man Utd after returning from Juventus in 2016.


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Pogba has won a League Cup and Europa League in his five years back at the club with agent Mino Raiola a constant source of speculation.

Things haven’t gone to plan for the 28-year-old and Richards reckons Pogba can be likened to Man Utd flop Veron, who made 82 appearances for the Red Devils over two seasons.

“I just remember him being a flash in the pan, before he came to Man United you expected big things,” Richards said on the Match of the Day Top 10 podcast.

“He’s like Pogba, Pogba’s stayed longer but when you watch Pogba, you want him to do something brilliant every time and the same with Veron as well you wanted him to score 40-yard goal or 60-yard pass, it was just a little bit fast for him.

“He wanted to slow down the tempo a little bit. This is what I don’t understand, people always ask me, why did it not always happen?

“You’ve got that ability, he worked hard, it’s consistency. His ability was off the scale, wasn’t it, it’s one thing I’ve wondered. By all accounts, he worked really hard, was a good lad, it just didn’t work out.”

And Shearer agreed with Richards, claiming that Veron clearly had the ability to succeed, like Pogba, but didn’t live up to expectations.

“I definitely agree with the Pogba comparison,” Shearer added. “I think everyone looked at Veron and thought ‘wow, what a player,’ £28m which was a lot of money then and everyone was expecting that of him every week. Ability-wise it was in there.”

Following Pogba’s performance against Atalanta in a recent Champions League match, Paul Scholes claimed that the Frenchman will need “somebody on him all the time” until he’s 35.

Scholes said on BT Sport: “Pogba needs somebody on him all the time. Somebody there that he totally respects, he needs experienced people behind him.

“How old he? 28? He’s a really experienced player. But he’s one of them that will get to 35 and be exactly the same.

“He’ll still be doing the stupid stuff where he’s stud rolling the ball, holding people off showing how strong and skilful he is. The biggest thing with Paul is his concentration. He goes away with the fairies at times.

“You think of the Juventus team he played in, where he was brilliant and was why we signed him. The experience around him – [Andrea] Pirlo, [Giorgi] Chiellini, [Leonardo] Bonucci, [Gianluigi] Buffon, an aggressive manager. He will need that treatment until he’s 35.”

 

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