Phil Jones has said his Manchester United teammate Paul Pogba used to “run rings” around Paul Scholes in training.
Pogba has been one of United’s best performers in recent months and Jones believes the Frenchman “can be as good as he wants to be” for the Red Devils.
Is Pogba performing better under Solskjaer? Five key things to know…
- Pogba endured a difficult relationship with previous manager Jose Mourinho, who stripped the midfielder of the captaincy earlier this season.
- Mourinho was sacked in January and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjer, who has given Pogba more freedom in midfield.
- Before the recent injury crisis, United were playing their best football of the season with Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic and Pogba in a midfield three.
- The base of Matic and Herrera allows Pogba to roam forward and get involved with the attacking play.
- Pogba has scored eight goals and provided six assists in 13 league appearances since Solskjear took over; he had three goals and three assists in the 14 games before that.
Jones, who signed a new contract with United last month, has been impressed with what he has seen from Pogba since Solskjaer’s appointment.
But the defender insists Pogba has been flourishing since before he initially left Old Trafford for Juventus.
“He does the talking on the pitch,” Jones told Goal.
“Maybe people do that outside of football but don’t really do it on the pitch. He’s earned that right from what he’s done and he can do whatever he wants as long as he performs like he’s doing at the moment.
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“Paul’s Paul. When he was at United before he left to go to Juventus I remember how he used to come into training and take the mick out of… well not take the mick but used to run rings around Scholesy and all the players and everyone used to be wowed by him.
“He’s come back and Paul’s Paul, he’s an unbelievably talented player. The things he can do with the ball are incredible, he can see a pass, he’s got a left foot, right foot, his shot, he’s a strong boy, and he can be as good as he wants to be.”
Has Pogba’s form earned Solskjaer a full-time job?
One of Mourinho’s main issues towards the end of his reign at United was an inability to get the best out of Pogba.
Not only that, Mourinho appeared to have completely fallen out with the 25-year-old, leaving him on the bench in each of his last two league games in charge.
Solskjaer has completely reversed Pogba’s fortunes with a tweak to his role and a shift in the entire squad’s mentality.
As a result, the Norwegian is being tipped to take over on a permanent basis this summer when his interim spell comes to an end.
United are still in with a shot of winning two trophies and finishing in the top four of the Premier League this season.