Marlon Harewood has admitted he is baffled by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s treatment of Paul Pogba at Manchester United.
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast reporter Tom Ward, the former Premier League striker has suggested that Pogba finds himself in a similar situation to his Red Devils teammate Jesse Lingard after being benched by Solskjaer for the 3-1 win over Everton before the international break.
Pogba copped a fair amount of criticism for conceding a sloppy penalty which allowed Arsenal to steal a 1-0 win at Old Trafford. The club legend publicly criticised him for the first time in his post-match press conference after the loss to Mikel Arteta’s side.
“The boy is running away from goal, there is no need to go for the ball,” Solskjaer told the BBC, as quoted by The Daily Express.
United have suffered from an inconsistent start to the season, having beaten both Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, before losing to Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League, whilst the 27-year-old continues to be linked with the exit amid interest from PSG, Real Madrid and Juventus.
When asked to share his thoughts on Pogba’s situation, Harewood told FFC:
“He’s like another Lingard. I just can’t understand what’s going on, I don’t know who’s advising them on or off the field, because these players are top-class players.
“You can have a bad day because everything won’t go your way all the time but they should be playing week in, week out like old-school players like Zinedine Zidane, because they are top class players.
“Pogba can become one of those legends because he is world-class.”
Lingard, like Pogba, also faces an uncertain future at Old Trafford. He has not featured in the Premier League so far this season and could depart the club when the transfer market reopens in January.
However, as far as we are concerned, that’s where the similarities end though. In 175 games for the club, the Frenchman has scored 33 goals and supplied 35 assists in all competitions so far. Not bad, not bad at all, especially for a creative midfielder who has arguably been playing out of position in a deeper role in recent months.
By comparison, the former England international has scored as many goals in more than 200 appearances for the Red Devils since he first broke through the academy ranks into the first team.
Pogba’s chequered history with the club is well-documented with his infamous agent Mino Raiola embroiled in more confrontations with club officials than we care to remember.
As we have previously pointed out, the French World Cup winner’s market value is rated at £72m via Transfermarkt, which makes him an expensive substitute if he stays on the bench, as has been the case at times so far this season. One thing’s for sure, he needs to start playing regularly if they are to justify their asking price, whatever that may be.