Paul Pogba has been hailed as “one of the top five midfielders in the world” by BBC pundit Garth Crooks.
The French midfielder has undergone a transformation in form since the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Man Utd in December, scoring nine goals and providing six assists in 13 games.
How has Pogba turned it around? Five key things to know…
- A former United academy player, Pogba rejoined from Juventus in 2016 for a then-world record £89.3m.
- Despite some flashes of brilliance, the Frenchman only managed 11 goals in his first 57 Premier League games.
- Pogba has already matched that total this season, with eight of those goals in coming since the appoint of Solskjaer as caretaker manager.
- Crooks was critical of Pogba last season but named him in his BBC team of the week after United’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool.
- Crooks and Jamie Carragher are among a host of pundits to admit they were wrong about the 2018 World Cup winner.
Despite being largely critical of Pogba throughout last season, Crooks has now been won over by the 2018 World Cup winner after another commanding performance against Liverpool on Sunday.
“I am starting to become quite a fan of Paul Pogba,” Crooks wrote in his BBC column. “Yes, I know it’s a bit embarrassing for me, especially after the chasing I gave him all last season.
“But with World Cup success on his CV, and in particular since the departure of Jose Mourinho, Pogba has struck form that must rank him as one of the top five midfield players in the world.
“In a United side ravaged by first-half injuries, his performance was immense. This was Pogba playing for Manchester United in a way I hadn’t seen him before. He’s become a grown-up.”
Carragher is another pundit who was famously critical of Pogba’s poor performance during the Mourinho era at Old Trafford but the former Liverpool defender has changed his tune since the appointment of Solskjaer.
“He’s been a revelation since OGS came in because he’s basically let him play without defending,” he tweeted recently. “I didn’t see this turn around so I have no problem saying I was wrong.”
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Pogba can be the best in the world, according to Vidic
Meanwhile, Man Utd legend Nemanja Vidic has been so impressed by Pogba’s form and leadership since the turn of the year that he thinks the former Juventus man should be aiming to progress even further.
“I think even when I was playing at a club, what you want from your leaders is you want them to be an example,” he told the Telegraph.
COMPARED: Man Utd under José Mourinho vs. Man Utd under Ole Gunnar Solskjær in the Premier League this season. 😳
A return of the fixture that forced the club to make the switch. pic.twitter.com/imTBmpDu4p
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 23, 2019
“You don’t want them to talk – sometimes, yes, to be encouraging towards the players – but you want them to be an example.
“I think Paul is a great player, has a great talent and he’s showed how good he is.
“But if he starts running and doing things he does I think he can even maybe aim for other things – individual awards and maybe even get to be the best player in the world.”