The fact that Paul Pogba is an influential Manchester United superstar cannot be denied.
Though Manchester United fans may have endured some undesirable excesses coming from the Frenchman and his super Italian agent Mino Raiola, but the undeniable fact that Pogba still adorns United’s jersey today could save the World Cup winner’s personality from some external unpleasant distractions.
The 26-year-old Paul Pogba has suffered substantial criticism from different quarters recently which United legend Rio Ferdinand rather find very necessary.
The former Red Devil’s defender jumping to Pogba’s defence in his recent public feud with Liverpool’s legend Graeme Souness insisted that the former Reds defender has unfairly targeted his old team-mate.
For Ferdinand, Pogba who has been restricted to just eight first-team appearances for United this season due to a persistent ankle injury should be cut some slacks.
The France international underwent surgery on the issue in January and is expected to be back in contention for a place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s line up when the 2019-20 campaign resumes after the coronavirus-enforced break.
However, Souness has singled Pogba out for criticism throughout his second spell at Old Trafford, questioning his attitude and commitment to United’s cause on a number of occasions.
National Daily recalls that Pogba during a sit-down for United’s official podcast while reacting to his previous criticism by Souness admitted that he had never heard of the former Liverpool defender.
Expectedly, the former Juventus star’s comment obviously might have embarrassed Souness who swiftly fired at Pogba challenging him to put down his medals on the table.
Interestingly, Ferdinand rising to his former team mate’s defence pointed out that Pogba’s World Cup winners’ medal which obviously eludes Souness is a proof of the Frenchman’s credentials on the pitch, and cannot understand why he has come under so much scrutiny while taking in an extended spell on the sidelines.
National Daily can confirm from the ex-United centre-back’s claim while speaking on The Beautiful Game Podcast that Pogba do not deserve some of his many criticisms:
“He hasn’t even played football this year! I don’t know how his name is in people’s mouths, he hasn’t even played football.
“I don’t understand it, like why are you chatting about Paul Pogba? He hasn’t played really this season so he shouldn’t be in the conversation.
“I don’t understand. Yeah, he’s a great player, huge profile, I understand all that. But he’s being judged or made the villain in this season which he’s played really no part in, so I don’t get it.
“Obviously Graeme Souness made a statement about putting your medals on the table. Boy, listen, my man’s got a World Cup winners’ medal. Like, it’s hard to chat to someone when they’ve got a World Cup.
“He won four Scudetti in Italy or something. He’s won stuff. Listen, Graeme Souness was a great player and he’s won a lot of stuff.
“Listen, my generation, and even worse for Graeme Souness and all the guys in that generation, they’ve got to understand that these guys don’t look at them sometimes. They don’t know who they are.
“For Paul Pogba to say he doesn’t know who he is, or wouldn’t know him as a footballer, I believe that. It’s not disrespectful, he doesn’t know him!
“As great a player as Souness was – he was a top player, one of the best, if you’re talking about the best British midfielders we’ve ever produced, he’s in the conversation – but Paul Pogba doesn’t know him.
“Simple as that. And that’s just a difference of generations. So I don’t think it’s disrespectful.
“Listen, if I was Paul Pogba I would have said the same thing, but I would have been saying it from a disrespectful standpoint, because I’d be saying, ‘You’ve been disrespecting me this whole time and I’ve not kicked a ball! Why are you talking about me for?’”
Meanwhile, Ferdinand wants his ex-team mate to come clear with his Manchester United position due to his constant links away from Old Trafford.
“Listen, I’m honest about Paul, and I love Paul because I’ve known him since he was a young kid and I still chat to him now, but the only problem I have with Paul is he should chat instead of his agent chatting. If he’d done that there’d be more clarity on the whole situation.
“But Paul is his own man, he’s going to deal with it his own way and I respect that. So that’s the only thing I’d say. Would Paul have wanted to do more in a Man United shirt in terms of performances?
“I’m sure he would. Listen this kid is an absolute professional, desperate to be the best player in the world, he wants to be that.
“Don’t ever get that twisted. But these guys are talking about him like he’s some kind of fairground player.”
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