The potential return of the France star for Sunday’s fixture against Liverpool should be seen as a huge boost to the Red Devils, says the Scotsman
Former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has branded Paul Pogba as the current side’s “most dominant and influential player”.
The France international has regularly been subject to criticism at Old Trafford since moving back to the club from Juventus in 2016, but he has been hailed as a player who “always delivers” by the ex-Scotland man.
With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the midst of a slump that has seen them tumble to 12th in the Premier League standings with only two wins from their eight matches to date, Fletcher believes Pogba’s imminent return from injury can kickstart them to better fortunes.
“If you look at the stats over a season – goals, assists, chances created, passes – he is Manchester United’s most dominant and influential player,” Fletcher told Sky Sports of the 26-year-old.
“Without a doubt it is a big blow [that he has been missing], he is a leader, a World Cup winner. His performances get scrutinised to the level where it is a little bit unfair.
“People probably expect too much from him but if you look at the stats he always delivers and makes things happen.
“That’s probably where the criticism comes because he always tries things. Great Manchester United players have always done that, they’ve never gone simple or safe. Paul is maybe trying a little bit too hard.”
Pogba has struggled this season because of ankle troubles and notably missed their recent away defeats against West Ham and Newcastle.
Indeed, United have only failed to score on three occasions this season and Pogba, who has been absent for five games this term, has missed each of these fixtures. Solskjaer’s side have scored only once in 450 minutes when he has not been on the park.
He is expected to be available for Sunday’s clash with Liverpool, with the Norwegian boss also hopeful that he will be able to welcome back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw into his squad following injury issues for each.
United’s slow start to the season has pressure mounting around the club, though the weekend’s fixture against the league leaders, who have won all eight of their league fixtures this term, represents a welcome opportunity to win over some of their critics.