Do the stats match Man United man’s claims ahead of Liverpool trip?
It’s not football’s best kept secret that Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has failed to reach the heights expected of him having re-signed for the club back in the summer. But the Frenchman has warned tonight’s opponents Liverpool that he is set to hit top gear pretty soon.
So as we prepare for the clash at Anfield, we thought we’d run the rule over Pogba’s recent form to see if he is finally settling into life back in England.
Aside from his header against Leicester City earlier this month, the 23-year-old’s contribution to United’s attacking output has been all but non-existent as of yet.
And while Pogba had 16 assists to his name for Juventus last campaign, he’s yet to have the same impact in that respect this time out, with no assists to speak of from eight games back in a United shirt.
In terms of chances created this season, again the midfielder’s numbers on the whole aren’t anything worth writing home about. So far this year, he’s created 11 chances in six Premier League games.
Compare that number with other midfielders in the division, David Silva (24), Kevin de Bruyne (23), Mesut Ozil (18), Dele Alli (15) and even Wayne Rooney (12), and it becomes clear that Pogba still has a lot to do if he’s to live up to his price tag.
And considering the area of the pitch in which Pogba plays, coupled with the wealth of attacking talent in front of him, one would expect a much higher return from the Frenchman.
Improvement of late
However, one promising fact about those 11 chances created is that seven of them have come in his last two outings for the Red Devils, while his first goal in the famous red shirt has also came in that time.
He’s also starting to play further up the pitch, allowing him to get closer to target man Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and the two have shown glimpses of brilliance in recent games.
Add to that the fact that he scored a stunner for France during the international break, and Pogba certainly won’t be heading into the Liverpool clash with his head down.
While ‘top gear’ still looks to be some weeks away, there’s no doubting Pogba’s recent improvement. He’s taken time to settle, but the honeymoon period is long over, and supporters will be expecting him to improve with every game he plays.
In short, tonight has to be his best performance in a United shirt to date.
The international break may have also helped the former Juventus man, as he returns to the north-west with a goal to his name. Liverpool’s style of play could suit the 23-year-old, too, as there should be plenty of space in the middle of the park for Pogba to exploit.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing