Paul Pogba has been amongst the best midfielders in Europe this season, netting some exquisite strikes whilst also pulling off some eye-catching assists to give Manchester United a cutting edge in the middle of the park.
Have you heard much about that, however? You probably haven’t.
Much of the focus has been on the Frenchman’s off-field activities. Newspapers will go on about what new haircut the 26-year-old has, what new dance move he’s been practising on his Instagram, and so on.
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He has been scolded by his own supporters for most of this season for reasons such as the above; not in isolation of course, but because they have come amidst one of the club’s worst campaigns in recent memory.
Talk of a move to Real Madrid, along with media speculation about his influence in the dressing room after Jose Mourinho called him a virus, have only worsened his reputation at the club – the former Juventus man is doing more than most to sort the Red Devils’ mess out, however.
His 16-goal haul from midfield saw him finish as the club’s top goalscorer this season, beating strikers such as Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, who have disappointed far more than Pogba has.
Furthermore, his tally of 11 assists meant that he ended the season as United’s best creator; what more can he do?
Footage emerged from the lap of honour at Old Trafford on Sunday showing a section of supporters criticising Pogba, screaming abuse at him as he admirably keeps his cool and appears to apologise for the dismal result, a 2-0 loss against Cardiff.
Paul Pogba interacts with fans who shouted abuse at him as he left the Old Trafford pitch following Man Utd’s 2-0 defeat to Cardiff.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 12, 2019
Is it because he’s the most expensive player in the side? Is it because the supporters think he can do better? Is it because he’s arguably the most flamboyant, assured character in the team and the fans think he can handle the stick? Perhaps the latter.
No matter how thick his skin is, however, the World Cup winner doesn’t deserve the abuse he gets when his teammates have performed much, much worse.