The most expensive signing in English football history, Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, is currently experiencing some problems under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.
Pogba, 24, rejoined United from Juventus in a £89.3million deal back in 2016, but despite good performances, has yet to live up to the hype that surrounds him.
He was dropped to the bench for United’s big Champions League clash with Sevilla last night, although an early injury to Ander Herrera meant Pogba ended up playing most of the game anyway.
Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes his struggles are related to who is coaching him.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Wright said: “Could you imagine Pogba at City playing in that front line on the right there where Gundogan is playing or anywhere in and around there?
“Pep loves players. If Pogba is playing in that team I would put anything on it that he would not in the same frame of mind that he is right now.
“I bet he is confused and doesn’t know what is going on.
“I can totally understand why Manchester United fans are saying that he is not playing well but we are talking about a top top draw player who needs managing.”
There is a feeling among some that Pogba wouldn’t suit Guardiola’s possession-based style, but the evolution of Fernandinho, well into his 30s now, is perhaps an example of how Pogba could be molded into a midfielder better suited to his system.
In February 2016, months prior to his United return, the French international spoke highly of Pep.
“Guardiola is a coach of with a lot of experience and has a great game philosophy. Therefore, he always has a great influence on his team. All the players respect him,” Pogba said to Sky Deutschland two years ago.
“You only have to look at him and you want to learn from him. I’ve heard that he improves every player. He is a football icon.
“Right now I am still with Juventus, but clearly if you have chance to work with someone like him, you can only develop further.”
And perhaps Pogba is now wishing he was working with Guardiola in a fluid, progressive system, rather than with the more pragmatic Mourinho.