Ex-Manchester United star Paul McGrath named Paul Pogba as one of three players that must step now and prove themselves
Following his World Cup triumph with France in the summer, Pogba has failed to replicate his performances for the national side at United.
The 25-year-old midfielder’s relationship with Jose Mourinho fell apart altogether at the start of the season.
But now the Portuguese coach has left, McGrath feels it’s time for Pogba to answer his critics by proving himself in the Premier League.
“I don’t like having a straight-out go at a lad who is still actually a young footballer – but Paul Pogba now owes a debt to Manchester United,” McGrath told the Irish Independent.
“He’s a world champion. And I’m sorry, but it is not as simple as saying that with France last summer he was surrounded by class acts with who it was easy to play – Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, N’Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi and Raphael Varane, etc.
“It doesn’t matter who you are playing with. I saw Paul Pogba chasing back, heading balls out of his own penalty area, tackling, covering, grafting, when France were under real pressure protecting a 1-0 against Belgium in the World Cup semi-final.
“That was nothing to do with the quality of his team-mates. It was Pogba wanting to be the best player and team-mate he could be, to be a winner, not the player of the last two months at Manchester United.”
The former Irish defender added that forwards Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez must also step up now Mourinho’s longer around.
He added: “Pogba is not alone in not producing his best. There are others.
“Cynics say Jose Mourinho only bought both Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to stop Chelsea and Manchester City getting their hands on the players.
“There’s a grain of truth in that about Sanchez for sure, and Pep Guardiola must be thinking ‘what an escape that was’ when he considers the outlay the Chilean international would have cost his club.
“As for Lukaku, I’m not so sure. What I wonder about him is that his style is not best suited to a rigid, slow, possession-based game that Mourinho favoured. Why did he buy him?
“Lukaku is about power and putting himself about and disrupting defences. Mourinho wanted his players to play around those defences, not through them! What did he want the big Belgian to do?”