Paul Pogba’s Man United struggles are just like ‘flash in the pan’ Juan Sebastian Veron insist Richards and Shearer … with the ex-Argentina midfielder’s ability ‘off the scale’ but he lacked ‘consistency’ to fulfil his talent – much like the Frenchman
- Alan Shearer and Micah Richards have likened Paul Pogba to a former midfielder
- Pogba has found his performances criticised since he returned to Man United
- The pundits have likened his struggles at Old Trafford to Juan Sebastian Veron
- As they did at the time with Pogba, United broke their transfer record for Veron
- Yet the Argentine struggled to settle in Manchester and left after just two years
Paul Pogba has been likened to former Manchester United midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron in failing to maximise his potential at Old Trafford.
Much like Pogba, United made Veron a record transfer when he joined for £28million from Serie A giants Lazio.
A lot was expected of the then Argentina international but he fell well short of expectations and left two years later filed as a ‘flop’ of the Sir Alex Ferguson era.
Paul Pogba (left) has been likened to Juan Sebastian Veron (right) in struggling at Man United
Pogba returned to United in 2016 and while he has stayed far longer than Veron did, the 28-year-old’s struggles have been likened to the Argentine by Micah Richards and Alan Shearer.
‘I just remember him being a flash in the pan, before he came to Man United you expected big things,’ Richards told 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?
Veron is remembered as one of the transfer flops by Sir Alex Ferguson despite his ability
Pogba (right) is seen as a supremely talented player but he has struggled to find consistency
‘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.’
Shearer wholeheartedly agreed with Richards as to the comparison between the two United midfield players.
‘I definitely agree with the Pogba comparison,’ he 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.’
Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season and looks to be coming to the end of his time at United for a second time in his professional career.
Even five years on the World Cup winner continues to be savaged in the media and only recently did Paul Scholes rip into Pogba for a display away to Atalanta in the Champions League.
Reflecting on Pogba’s performance that night, Scholes said the United midfielder would need to be babysat ‘until he is 35’ as he has the tendency to do ‘stupid stuff’ on the pitch.
Scholes said: ‘Pogba needs somebody on him all the time. Somebody there that he totally respects, he needs experienced people behind him.
Micah Richards (left) and Alan Shearer (right) believe a comparison to Veron is suitable
‘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.’
Pogba has faced criticism for his decision not to commit his future to the club in recent weeks.
His commitment has been questioned – but he went out of his way to refute claims he ignored head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the loss to Liverpool in a social media post that was then supported by the club last week.
United’s No 6 turned down the offer of a new contract and can leave for free next summer