Ex-Manchester United defender Paul Parker has questioned the club’s decision to splash the cash for Paul Pogba whose role at the club isn’t really clear, arguing John Obi Mikel is a better holding midfielder than the Frenchman, Goal writes.
Pogba, 23, recently became the world’s most expensive player after returning to United from Serie A champions Juventus for a whopping £93.8m. Ahead of his debut this weekend, pundits are still at a loss over what he brings to Old Trafford.
“Can he be as good as Roy Keane or Bryan Robson? I wonder about him playing that midfield role,” said Parker, speaking exclusively to 888Sport.
“In a holding position it would be a waste because he’s not a Makelele or even a John Obi Mikel because one thing Mikel can do is close people down. Pogba can get forward, and score goals, and pass the ball but in a high-tempo game he won’t be very good in a deep role.
“We saw that in the Euros where he looked lost for long periods of games when France didn’t have the ball. So when United don’t have the ball what’s he going to be like? Fellaini can’t do that either. Or Rooney. They can’t get around. Behind Ibrahimovic and Martial there will be changes because there is no way that midfield can last.”
Parker, who won two league titles with United, opined that the club must be “embarrassed” to have spent so much to re-sign Pogba.
“If United had signed Messi for a hundred million not many would have complained. The same with Ronaldo who scores goals and has a presence that scares teams.
“With Pogba you do wonder when you look at his style of play for Juventus can he play that way for Manchester United? Where is he going to play? It would be a waste if it’s in a holding role.
“If he plays behind Ibrahimovic that puts Wayne Rooney in doubt and Rooney has to play – not that he deserves a place but they have to play him. So it’s a difficult situation.
“I think United in certain quarters are quite embarrassed by how much they’ve had to pay for him but did he do enough in his three seasons at Juventus to warrant that fee? The answer is no, not at all and you have to wonder why Real Madrid disappeared very quickly. They don’t get out-bid.”