BT Sport pundit Michael Owen has claimed that Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is being held back from being one of the best players in the world by Jose Mourinho. The former Liverpool and Man United striker believes that if Pogba were managed by Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola, he'd be 'one of the world's best players'
Pogba's tumultuous relationship with Mourinho has been well documented over the past year; the World Cup winner's performances have often been publicly scrutinised by the Portuguese manager. This has led to rampant speculation that the midfielder is looking for a way out of Old Trafford.
Even after winning the World Cup with France over the summer (and scoring in the final), Pogba is yet to receive the full trust of his manager who broke the transfer record to bring the midfielder to the club in 2016.
Owen believes that the United manager has to shoulder some of the blame for Pogba's sub-par performances:
“I think the manager has to take some of the blame – the system, the way he plays," Owen told BT Sport. "I remember when he first signed they were trying all kinds of midfielders in and around him trying to get the best out of him.
“I feel sorry for him from that point of view but, as a player, it is frustrating when you watch him because he still looks like a 16 or 17-year-old learning the game. I think he could do a lot worse than just going to watch a load of videos of Paul Scholes – see when to play one touch, see when to take loads of touches, when to beat players."
Owen added that he thought that managers from United's top six rivals may have been able to get the best out of the midfielder.
“I think he makes so many bad decisions in games, which is frustrating because if he was playing as he should…if he was playing under a Guardiola or a Klopp or someone like that I think we'd be looking at certainly one of the best few players in the world, but at the moment we can't say that.”
Pogba started in United's 2-1 defeat away to Valencia in the Champions League, missing a clear opportunity with the score at 1-0. United travel to Liverpool this weekend, and it remains to be seen if Pogba will be involved in any capacity.